Chombo what are you up to?

via Chombo what are you up to? – DailyNews Live by Bridget Mananavire  9 FEBRUARY 2014

Against a backdrop of resistance from residents, councillors, fellow politicians and the nation at large, Local Government minister Ignatious Chombo remains adamant that Harare town clerk Tendai Mahachi should be reinstated after being suspended by mayor Bernard Manyenyeni.

Zimbabweans are wondering why Chombo is seemingly protecting Mahachi and asking the minister what he is up to at a time when government seems to be on a path to root out corruption in public entities.

Residents, interest groups and former councillors are now asking: What is Chombo up to? What is his agenda and where will this end?

Manyenyeni suspended Mahachi last week pending investigations into allegations of failing to discharge his duties and furnishing council with the salary schedule for Town House bosses, as the fight against corruption in Zimbabwe rages on.

Chombo has in the past been implicated in shoddy land dealings in Harare and in some of the investigations conducted by different probe committees, the name Mahachi appeared prominently.

At least two reports have been made to police on Chombo and Mahachi’s land deals, but nothing has materialised.

Elected Councillors Association of Zimbabwe (ECAZ) president Warship Dumba, who led a comprehensive land probe in the Harare City Council five years ago, said Chombo’s quick action to even call a press conference during the weekend to reinstate Mahachi proves that he had interests to protect.

“Mahachi was appointed by Chombo from Air Zimbabwe; he is Chombo’s point man in all the land deals he has been implicated in,” said Dumba a former councillor, who was fired by the minister soon after his widely-commended probe.

“Mahachi and Chombo have been involved in a lot of urban planning activities and if Mahachi is removed from Town House then the minister fears for the worst.

“Why is he worried of Mahachi’s suspension? What is so special about Mahachi that he can’t be suspended. Let the truth come out?”

He said the whole communication setup at Town House was weird.

“Mahachi should be reporting to the mayor and then the mayor takes it forward to the minister, meaning the mayor is Mahachi’s boss,” Dumba said.

He said under normal circumstances, the full council should seal Mahachi’s fate, and the mayor would then forward their recommendations to the local government board which would make the final determination.

Chombo is also facing legal battles with residents who believe he is overstepping his mandate.

Tawanda Zhuwarara, a human rights lawyer and ratepayer, has given Chombo an ultimatum to reverse his directive for the reinstatement of Mahachi or take him to court.

Zhuwarara said Chombo’s actions are objectionable and that his purported powers in terms of Section 314 of the Urban Councils Act can only be exercised with regards to councils and not mayoral decisions.

The Harare resident said Chombo’s directive was premature and a nullity at law since the city is yet to make its determination in terms of Section 139 (4) of the Urban Councils Act.

He said it is only after the process in terms of Section 139 (4) of the Urban Councils Act has been completed, does the suspension of Mahachi become a resolution of the council.

Harare residents, through the Combined Harare Residents Association (Chra) also threatened to boycott paying rates and take to the streets if council fails to avail top management salaries within seven days.

Chra said they were prepared to take the city to court to block payment of salaries for public officials “until the matter has been resolved”.

An interest group, Restoration of Human Rights Zimbabwe (ROHR) weighed in and supported Manyenyeni all the way.

In a statement, RHRH said: “Fundamentally as the residents of the City of Harare, and in particular as human rights defenders in Zimbabwe, we would like to commend you for the noble decision you took on the 30th of January that is to  suspend the town clerk Mr T Mahachi. The man deserved to be shown the red card!

“You acted within the provisions of both the Urban Councils Act and the Zimbabwean Constitution. We therefore, urge you to ignore minister Chombo’s calls for you to reverse this people-centred decision.”

“As residents and human rights advocates, we are happy with your performance so far as the principal officer at Town House is concerned. We have taken this mass demonstration against minister Chombo and Mahachi just as a way of showing you that the people are with you.

“Your worship, please continue to defend the residents of Harare, knowing fully well that Human Rights Zimbabwe and indeed the people of Harare are fully behind you and your team.”


  • comment-avatar

    This Chombo fella is really crooked. Only in Zimbabwe can such people thrive openly and with arrogance the way he does. With the calibre of such people in charge, what chance do we have as a country. Cry the beloved country!

  • comment-avatar
    Chatunga 9 years ago

    Its difficult to imagine why mugarbage keeps this idiot in cabinet

    • comment-avatar
      Rudadiso 9 years ago

      Chatunga, why is it difficult to imagine? Mugabe is the architect of corruption. He is the key participant – multiple farm owner, buying mansions in Hong Kong with funds whose source have never been made clear; does not pay taxes and his hands are firmly in the cookie jar every single time he travels to Malaysia.

      His office budget exceeds that of five ministries that include the important Trade and industry ministry. To put it simply, Mugabe is a thief and he is simply protecting his partners in crime.

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    Ephrain Gumbo 9 years ago

    The acting Vice President, Cde Joyce Mujuru stepped way out of line today when she criticized and condemned the local media for exposing the corruption going on within local Government. Cde Mujuru, know that all of us are now sick and tired of this corruption and all of us and without exception want it to be exposed and those responsible punished for their crimes. Perhaps this worries you? The time is fast approaching where the povu are going to take the law into their own hands and punish harshly those involved in corruption, something that has contributed towards the ruin of our country. No fancy foot work or denials will help you this time Cde Mujuru.

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    Chivindikiti, Dennis 9 years ago

    With all due respect cde Teurairopa, we are not your kids or stupid to believe that you and you gang of looters have our best interests at heart. What are you afraid of? Let the truth come out, it may actually set you free! So leave the media to do its job

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    Sekuru Mapenga 9 years ago

    The “new” airport road is the flagship of corruption – a city of Harare project with Chombo and Mahachi firmly in charge. The road has been abandoned, dangerous, incomplete and non-functional. It is now actually worse than the old road. The construction vehicles have all left the scene.
    It can only be surmised that the money has all be corruptly used and this wreck of a road is there to remind us all how corrupt Zimbabwe has become.

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    ChombocheZanu 9 years ago

    I am protecting my business interests. Dont you know that Paza Busta car sales is my company. I supply all counsol vehicles with Mahachi’s support. If you think I am lying go down airport road after flyover you pass railways yard ku left side, before ABC auctions. See all those new trucks and cars they will end up in council. So dont ask stupid questions this is my reward for keepn MDC councils under control. Tell Ben Manyanyene kuti akaita funie ndinomufaya manje manje ende-hapana anomudzora pabasa. Ask Mudzuru,JAmes, Warship Dumba, Caspa Takura and their filth lot!! Ndombonzi anikoini ChombocheZanu!!!

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    Saddened 9 years ago

    I agree with much of what the writer says however I differ strongly on one point and that is – we must stop reacting to the actions or inactions of people like Chombo. We need to set our own paths & plans and execute them thoroughly to remove these thugs from office. Let the newspaper headlines be about what we the people are doing to free ourselves from this oppression. Why is the press always reporting about the handful of politicians who make our lives a misery when there are 13m of us who are largely ignored. We need to assert our rights!

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    munzwa 9 years ago

    Quite right, Saddened, give all support to the Mayor, the Clrs and RatePayers that want to see an end to this looting.. It will have to end in a rates boycott of audits paid for by residents rates that have been held back!!!!Jail for the looters….

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    Tjingababili 9 years ago

    The most corrupt boy in mugabes government!

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    Mukanya 9 years ago

    What Chombo is doing is termed “Protecting Private Interests”.

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    masvukupete 9 years ago

    Ko maface mambooana wo here Murimi wa Nhasi. Ndiri kumutsvaka nnemso matsvuku. kikikiki

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    mujibha 9 years ago

    to stop this chombo should be suspended and investgated. everyone knows that idiot is the most corrupt minister. but who is going to do it? mugabe? ha ha ha.

  • comment-avatar 9 years ago