Chombo threatens Harare councillors

LOCAL Government minister Ignatius Chombo has threatened to fire councillors and officials at Harare City Council following a damning report alleging rampant corruption, lethargy and underhand dealings at Town House.


Chombo told NewsDay yesterday that his team was finalising recommendations based on the Ellen Chivaviro report after an investigation into underhand dealings at the local authority.

“We are finalising, but there obviously will be people who will be found on the wrong side of the law and we will act on them. We will act on them, but we can’t pre-empt the recommendations. I will notify you before end of this week, maybe Thursday or Friday,” Chombo said.

Impeccable sources said Chombo’s axe was likely to land on several councillors and council officials’ heads.

The report described some council officials, including town clerk Tendai Mahachi, as “lethargic” and not acting to implement resolutions agreed to in full council meetings.

Other council officials were fingered in unscrupulous car sale and billboard deals that have cost the local authority thousands of dollars.

The team also condemned some projects being undertaken by the city, including the building of a food court at an open space near Karigamombe Building where the statue of the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo was supposed to be erected.

The team also questioned the proliferation of electronic billboards in and around the capital, saying they had become a danger to motorists, especially at night because of excessive lighting.

“They (councillors) seem to be drowning and their decisions are based on personal benefits,” Chivaviro said last week.

“Service delivery is not the driving force behind the business at Town House. It’s more of personal benefits. There is no powerful management system and this is leading to gross mishandling of the financial register.”

She said councillors were not taking advice from experts in council as they made decisions against the advice of chamber secretary Josephine Ncube.

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