GOVERNMENT has dropped a bombshell on Harare City Council, directing it to dissolve all strategic business units it had formed, including City Parking and Harare Quarry, among others, claiming they were being used as conduits to syphon revenue from the local authority.
BY MOSES MATENGA
In a letter dated December 16, 2019 addressed to mayor Herbert Gomba, Local Government minister July Moyo said there was strong suspicion that some of the companies were being used to steal council resources.
“You are directed to make sure that companies formed as income-generating ventures, which previously had been sources for council revenue, are dissolved and the activities be carried out under the appropriate programmes,” he wrote.
“On that note, City Parking, without any investments, had not been bringing in any meaningful revenue to council and Sunshine Holdings seems to be a conduit to siphon out council resources. Furthermore, Harare Quarry (Pvt) Ltd demands payment upfront for material ordered by council, while it is being subsidised for making losses.”
Moyo said the measures would put council in good stead and achieve quick sustainable results.
He said city departments were operating in silos, with each department having its own support staff, a situation that has created semi-autonomous entities.
“This facilitates loss of organisational cohesion and creates a bloated support staff complement which weighs heavily on council resources. This administrative architecture results in the City of Harare failing to discharge its mandate efficiently,” Moyo said.
“You are, therefore, advised to revise the city’s organogram, as a matter of urgency assigning programme managers and sub-programme managers in line with the adopted programme-based approach. The programme managers and sub-programme managers should be held accountable for the operations of their areas of jurisdiction in all respect.”
Gomba said the local authority was working on a number of strategies to ensure the city achieved its set goals, for the good of the residents.
“We are in the process of moving Harare Water from the premises they were renting to accommodate them in our council properties, Cleveland and Rowan Martin. This will allow us to save a lot of money,” he said.
“We are also in the process of looking at the council organogram and see where responsibilities are overlapping.
For example, auditing, it can be done under purposes manager of council. The same with finance that can be done.
“We want to cut a lot of costs and that also includes introducing new soccer sponsors that are not City of Harare.
We are also engaging in strict measures to track council vehicles and also implement a measure that bars spouses of directors to use city vehicles and having fuel for their use. That is very unnecessary luxury.”