HomeOpinion & AnalysisDeliver on mandate first before sounding big

Deliver on mandate first before sounding big


REPORTS that Harare City Council plans to build a multi-million dollar shopping complex with banks, shops and a three-tier parkade to control marauding commuter omnibuses at Copacabana sound noble on paper.

NewsDay Editorial

This, we are told, is in line with the capital’s Vision 2025 to build a world-class city. There is no doubt that the construction will give a fresh look to the central business district, which could also give the local authority some powers to control commuter omnibuses operating from the site.

The sad reality though is that Zimbabweans are known the world over for coming up with excellent strategic plans, which in many cases have failed to see the light of day because of disruptive politics in the workings of government.

It is hoped that this time around, the local authority will be able to implement its ideas given the number of untimely deaths caused by commuter omnibuses fleeing arrest for picking up passengers from undesignated points.

If done properly, it would be a good project that we believe can make a big impact in the declining construction industry and can act as a catalyst for several other industries. The project will further result in massive employment creation.

However, there are many gaps in this plan that need to be covered, and many questions crying out for answers. One would expect council’s business development committee chairperson Herbert Gomba to address many of those gaps before organising a ground-breaking ceremony.

Obviously, Zimbabweans would all love Harare to be a world-class city. But basic things first, Harare is struggling to provide services such as water, garbage collection and road maintenance, to name but a few. One wonders how council will successfully implement such a massive project when its revenue collection system is in its current porous state with ruling party vigilants running the show at most council properties and collecting revenue due to council for their personal use.

Besides, will they provide an alternative parking bay for commuter omnibuses which would be displaced during the construction phase?

Many of Harare’s ambitious plans have been reportedly hampered by poor administration and corruption among council executives. Gomba lamented corruption and vandalism especially at Mbare Musika Market where council lost equipment worth $400 000 through vandalism. What measures have they put in place to avoid a repeat of such vices this time around?

The question ordinary people are asking is that if the city has failed in little things like repairing potholes, clearing its drainage system, controlling kombis and fixing street lights, how does it suddenly develop the capacity to establish a world-class city?

More so, it’s on record, and by mayor Bernard Manyenyeni’s own admission, that the city has failed to pay its workers for months on end and suddenly they want those workers to be part of that turnaround strategy!

Manyenyeni must not take Zimbabweans for fools. He must deliver on his mandate first before sounding big. We need competent administrators at Town House and not dreamers.

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