Harare city councillors are back from their annual recess with little expected from them except intense fighting with departmental heads whom they accuse of sabotaging them.
Councillors who spoke to NewsDay said they wanted to “cleanse” Town House and work with directors willing to implement their resolutions.
“This year there is no more sleeping on duty and all the directors who are not inspired to work should just go home,” said one councilor who preferred to remain anonymous.
“Serious projects are gathering dust and this year we cannot allow that to happen. We cannot allow projects to gather dust,” said the councillor.
After an eventful year that saw the city fathers in the dock for allegedly criminally defaming businessman Phillip Chiyangwa, the councillors this year said they had a fresh start, but little should be expected from them.
Another councillor said this year would see more of internal re-organisation, infighting and service delivery, but seemed to confirm that further investigations on the Chiyangwa issue as envisaged by other councillors was all but dead.
“We really want to achieve on service delivery. We want to do what people voted us for but it seems with the fear and panic in the local authority, there is nothing much to expect on further investigating Chiyangwa,” said the councillor.
Two of the councillors who have been vocal and pushing for Chiyangwa to be investigated have since been suspended.
Among council projects that have been gathering dust is the proposed erection of Mupedzanhamo Phase 2 that has since been hijacked by Zanu PF.
Council is set to embark on massive construction of houses in different suburbs to curb the housing backlog in the city.
Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda said he was worried over the delay by other departmental heads to clear generators he sourced from Germany.
“Councillors are frustrated and understandably so at the slow pace by the directors,” he said.
“The councillors are not wrong and there has been lethargy on the part of functionaries who have to find reason to move out of this lethargy,” he said.
“In November 2009, a German business delegation came and asked how council institutions like clinics operate in case of a power cut. They donated two generators one for Wilkins Hospital and the other for Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital. I am told the generators have been in South Africa since May,” he said.
“That’s the mind boggling lethargy I am talking about and I will be embarrassed if the group comes here in February and ask about the generators,” he said.
Masunda, however, said the city would work together and embark on an ambitious project to reclaim the Thermal Power Station from power utility Zesa.
“I am disappointed on the state of affairs on the street lights in the city. We should have them working to improve security in high density areas,” he said.
“Housing has not been given the attention it deserves for a long time. We have managed to entice the Bill and Melinda gates foundation to assist this regard,” he said.