Chitungwiza town clerk George Makunde has accused the government of causing the current problems rocking the dormitory town’s municipality after it was left without office furniture due to a debt owed by the local authority.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Makunde, who is under fire from residents and Zanu PF youths, who want him out of office, said the crisis at the town council had its genesis in central government’s blunder of double allocation of a farm in Nyatsime to the municipality as well as failure by residents to pay their bills.
“This is a long story which dates back to years before I joined this council. The crisis here has its genesis in the manner in which government handled the land issue in Nyatsime. We were allocated the farm for Nyatsime township, but there was double allocation of the same to A2 farmers who have made it impossible for us to take ownership of the same,” he said.
On Monday, Zanu PF youths besieged the municipality headquarters after the Messenger of Court towed away several utility vehicles over a $4,2 million debt owed to Nissam (Private) Limited for the design and layout of residential stands in Nyatsime township.
The demonstrators vowed to carry on with their protests until Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere intervened and axed the cited officials.
But Makunde said his administration was not to blame for the debt as the protracted legal battle over the ownership of Nyatsime township had made it impossible for the local authority to settle the debt.
“If we had the project running (Nyatsime housing project), the debt was supposed to be financed by money generated from the same and because we don’t have power to implement it due to the court processes, we are unable and left with no option, but to suffer the consequences,” Makunde said.
“People ought to be realistic and speak the truth on the Nyatsime issue. When I came into office, Nassim had quoted council $9,8 million for layout design of the Nyatsime project. I contested the decision and we settled for $4,8 million. We then signed an acknowledgment of debt with the company, but things have not been moving according to plan because we don’t have ownership of the land so that we could allocate to those who have paid something towards the stands.”
The town clerk also accused Zanu PF provincial leadership of influencing the Monday protests after he alleged that his name featured during the Zanu PF provincial co-ordinating committee (PCC).
“On the involvement of youths, I heard they were promised stands by Kasukuwere, but I have no communication from his office to prove the same. I also heard that my name was a matter of discussion during the weekend PCC meeting, hence, the noise and chaos being caused by the youths. I don’t know why an administrative issue could be discussed during a meeting of the PCC, which I am not a member of,” Makunde said.