Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has vowed to personally take up the fight between Harare City Council and a shadowy Zanu PF-aligned group, Chipangano, to end lawlessness and invasions that have rocked the city and other parts of the country.
Tsvangirai met mayors from across the country where he was updated on the lawlessness being unleashed by suspected Zanu PF-aligned groups throughout the country.
Mayors who attended the meeting briefed NewsDay that they told Tsvangirai of the failure by police to protect their council properties from invasions and takeover by Zanu PF-aligned groups.
“We told him of the problems bedevilling our cities and the issue of government debts was also raised during the meeting and he promised to work with relevant ministries to achieve that,” said one of them who, however, refused to be named.
Luke Tamborinyoka, the Premier’s spokesperson, confirmed the meeting yesterday and that the PM promised to take up the matters with President Robert Mugabe and Cabinet.
“Some of the key issues raised included that of invasions of flea markets by Chipangano in Harare and other parallel councils in Zvishavane and Masvingo, for example, where stands are being given without council knowledge,” said Tamborinyoka.
“Councils complained of disturbances and interference by the Minister of Local Government (Ignatius Chombo) whose powers are excessive. They told him that they were finding it difficult to collect rates as they were being chased away in some places,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tsvangirai, while on a tour of Firle Water Sewerage Treatment Plant on the outskirts of GlenView in Harare yesterday, criticised the previous regime for politicising issues of service delivery by giving the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) powers to run water affairs.
“I asked the mayors what gave government the reason to assign this whole plant (Firle) to Zinwa. No one explained to me why because there is no relation between pumping water and an act of sophistication like we see here,” Tsvangirai said.
Tsvangirai blasted politicians who make political decisions on important issues saying this was why the country was not moving forward.
Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda said he was equally surprised why government “in its infinite wisdom” gave the water projects to Zinwa.