Harare residents sue ‘nosy’ minister


Harare residents have taken Local Government minister July Moyo to court to stop him from allegedly interfering with operations of the local authority.

The residents under the Harare Metropolitan and Residents Forum have taken Moyo to the High Court, accusing him of interference and micromanaging affairs of Harare City Council (HCC) by issuing directives.

Harare Metropolitan and Residents Forum comprises Greater Harare Ratepayers, Residents and Tenants Association Trust, the Water Alliance Trust from Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents Association Trust.

“The interference in the work of the second respondent (HCC) by the first respondent through unlawful directives means that as the residents of the area within the second respondent, we cannot have our views heard or our input implemented by the second respondent who will always be told what to do by the first respondent,” the application by the residents’ lawyers Maunga Maanda and Associates read in part.

“We have therefore decided to step in so that the second respondent is freed from such interference.”

The application, residents said, was meant to have the court nullify a directive from Moyo to Harare City Council to, among other things, dissolve Harare Quarry, City Parking and other loss-making institutions run by Harare and partners.

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“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,” Moyo’s December letter reads.

“On that note, City Parking, without any investments, has 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 also ordered Harare to revisit its organogram “as a matter of urgency assigning programme managers and sub-programme managers in line with the adopted programme-based approach”.
But in their application, the residents said the minister should stop the interference and micro-managing of Harare affairs.

“It is abundantly clear that the first respondent has gone down to the shop floor level to give instructions that should be given by departmental heads and not the minister,” the residents noted. Moyo is yet to respond to the application.

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