Can Harare mayor bell the cat?

THE jaw-dropping revelations by Harare mayor, Herbert Gomba, that massive graft has rendered the country’s capital city virtually useless and critically incapable of delivering any meaningful service are sad, to say the least.

NewsDay Comment

Said Gomba: “We realised there is a lot of rot in council, and there was no information on who runs what and how many businesses have been licenced, among other things. This was despite the fact that our environmental health officers would go out and feast on the revenue that was supposed to come our way. We have no information whatsoever on the shops in the CBD (central business district) and other areas and also on car sales, among other businesses.”

What the mayor has observed and decided to share with the nation speaks volumes of the administrative politics at the core of the metropolitan.

Why is the mayor and his council not aware of “who runs what” at Town House? Does this mean Gomba and his MDC council colleagues are just figureheads at Town House? There is definitely something wrong in the way Harare is being administered.

If Gomba and his colleagues are not the ones calling the shots at Town House, then who, if we may dare to ask, is running the capital city?

Does it mean that all councillors are merely there to rubberstamp decisions made elsewhere, or are their decisions never implemented on the shopfloor because those who are supposed to implement them are taking orders from elsewhere?

What is happening at the Harare City Council (HCC) merely tells us that corruption in this country is now so deeply rooted that we really wonder whether Gomba will be able to bell the cat?

There is definitely a bigger monster behind what is happening in Harare. The simplest thing the mayor needs to do is to establish who runs the show at Town House and which individuals are throwing spanners into the works.

For decades, events at HCC have been intriguing, with the Local Government ministry — run since independence in 1980 by Zanu PF appointees — meddling in the council’s affairs at every turn.

Given this background, it will be very interesting to see how Gomba is going to navigate his way and be able to establish a new order at Town House. All we can do is wish him all the best.

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