Councillors refuse to join hands with ZRP

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Chitungwiza municipality councillors have opposed the involvement of the Zimbabwe Republic Police in council operations meant to flush out illegal vendors who have turned the dormitory town into an eyesore.
This comes in the wake of reports the committee on health recommended in April that the police be engaged to assist in clearing illegal vendors including a shebeen at Chigovanyika vegetable market, instead of the local municipal police.
“Why should (Chitungwiza) council want to join hands with the police when in fact we have our own security personnel?” asked a councillor who refused to be named.
“If Harare (council) managed to arrest vendors without the assistance of the police, council security should also be in a position to do the same.”
The police have been blamed on several occasions by residents for using brutal force when dealing with the public, especially vendors. Town Clerk Godfrey Tanyanyiwa thought otherwise. He defended the health committee’s stance arguing that local municipal security personnel were inexperienced in such matters. He said council had, in an effort to capacitate its security personnel, trained a new group of security details. Tanyanyiwa said it was council’s duty to implement by-laws through its security personnel but the police was the country’s enforcement agent mandated by the laws of the country to assist local authorities whenever necessary. Chitungwiza council employees, on strike a fortnight ago over poor remuneration, blamed the council’s inability to pay meaningful salaries on the laid-back attitude displayed by the town’s municipal police.Council also resolved to demolish all illegal structures in most parts of the town.
l Meanwhile, NewsDay correspondent James Matanda reports that Tanyanyiwa is commuting 170km daily from his Banket farm to work squandering hundreds of dollars from the council’s drying coffers. Tanyanyiwa said he was forced to travel everyday using his official cars because he could not risk his farming business sinking by not being hands on.
“I am a full time commercial farmer with 120 full time labourers who need my attention daily,” he said.
He said he received 80 litres of fuel a week and if the allocation is exhausted before weekend he uses personal resources. Although the municipality had two official houses in Harare’s Hatfield suburb for senior employees, he was unaware of the present occupants or to whom the rentals were being forwarded. Unconfirmed reports say the houses had been turned into panel beating workshops.
Tanyanyiwa said: “My office is now in the process of establishing what is happening at these two official residences.”
Chitungwiza Mayor Alderman Phillemon Chipiyo confirmed Tanyanyiwa commuted daily from Banket and said council would consider finding accommodation for him in Chitungwiza.
“In fact, he travels 20 kilometres after Banket. It is too far and council may have to consider getting him accommodation closer to the town to avoid inconveniences and costs.”