HARARE mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni is today expected to deliver his last state of the city address, amid concerns that he has failed to turn around the city’s fortunes since his election five years ago.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Manyenyeni, whose term of office ends in July has indicated that he would not seek re-election.
Combined Harare Resident Association (CHRA) director, Mfundo Mlilo said they did not expect anything new from Manyenyeni’s final speech.
“We don’t expect anything new or a new vision, but we want him to reflect on what he has achieved since 2013. He has to tell the residents were he failed and why, how he thinks the city can do better and his wishes. For us as CHRA, we believe, he has fairly done well although we believe more should have been done,” Mlilo said.
Council has over the past five years failed to improve services such as water supply, road infrastructure, refuse collection and sewer reticulation.
Mlilo has paid tribute to Manyenyeni for exposing council’s ballooning salary bill and other corrupt activities.
“He has limited powers, we could understand,” Mlilo said.
Harare Water Alliance coordinator, Hardlife Mudzingwa said although Manyenyeni had failed to deliver on service provision, the central government and his MDC-T party should shoulder the blame.
“He tried to cut the workforce at town house so that the labour costs are in line with service provision, but the law and the policy of his party stood in his way. Also central government caused a lot of problems. You have to understand that Manyenyeni is a ceremonial mayor and there has been a lot of interference from the central government. As Water Alliance, we expected that he should have improved the water quality as well as the quantity,” Mudzingwa said
Harare Resident’s Trust coordinator, Precious Shumba said Manyenyeni needs to “fully talk about the state of our roads”.
“He should focus on revenue collections focusing on the city’s strategic business units such as City Parking which have not contributed much to the city finances,” Shumba said.