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‘World-class city status a mirage’

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HARARE mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni, has all but admitted that his council’s ambitious goal to turn the capital into a world-class city by 2025, will remain a mirage and pipe dream given the current state of affairs at Town House.

BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni
Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni

The city has over the last couple of years been pursuing its set objective of achieving world-class status in the next eight years and rival regional capitals as an investment centre of choice.

But in a message posted on Facebook yesterday, Manyenyeni said it was only possible to attain that status in about 10 years if the country becomes a second republic.

“I think the 10 years starts from when we start afresh as Zimbabwe. For now, a specific time-frame is devoid of any justification,” he said, adding the necessary ingredients needed to work together towards a world-class city were missing at Town House.

The city has, for the greater part after the turn of the century, been run by commissioners appointed by the government after the sacking of elected executive mayors and councillors.

Manyenyeni himself has suffered a similar fate after being suspended twice in three years by Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

“Let’s first critique the ingredients for a world-class city such as national government leadership, the economy, local government leadership including elected officials, management and workers, civic participation and the systems used on day processes. Therein lies the answer — rate them each out of 10 and get the prospects rating for the target,” he said.

The capital has, in the past months, been battling to provide basic services such as potable water, refuse collection and road maintenance.

Many of the city streets are now impassable because of potholes as the financially-constrained capital fails to repair them.

The city is currently battling to contain a typhoid outbreak that has, to date, killed two people with over 130 cases recorded.

The city is also battling to assist families who are staying in flooded suburbs like Mbare and Budiriro due to poor drainage.

The cases have been exacerbated by the continuous rains that have pounded the country for the past two weeks.

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