HomeNewsHarare City Council chaos cripples service delivery

Harare City Council chaos cripples service delivery

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BY BLESSED MHLANGA/MOSES MATENGA

DISASTER is looming in Harare as the local authority has become too crippled to effectively provide services, MDC Alliance secretary for local government Sesel Zvidzai has said.

The former Local Government deputy minister said the chaos at Town House had crippled service delivery and would plunge the capital into disaster.

“A disaster of unprecedented proportions is looming at the capital city. The effects of the collapse will be felt by the whole country for a long time to come,” Zvidzai warned.

He said 24 councillors had been recalled from council while four full council meetings had been called off as anti-corruption hawks pounced on Town House in pursuit of alleged corrupt officials and councillors. Among those recalled are former mayor Herbert Gomba and his deputy Enock Mupamaonde. Six of the eight committee chairpersons were recalled as well.

Mayor Jacob Mafume and his deputy Luckson Mukunguma were also suspended.

“The mayor, deputy mayor and town clerk all are on suspension, therefore, council is unable to do either committee or full council meetings.”

“The mayor or deputy mayor is the only office mandated to appoint an acting town clerk. The town clerk is the chief signatory of council accounts and we can’t have three people acting on town clerk’s position within three months. We are talking of a position which is supposed to safeguard residents’ money, the chief accounting officer of council,” he said.

In the absence of critical staff, Zanu PF bigwigs are now reportedly at the centre of chaos at Town House with acting Local Government minister Jenfan Muswere recently appointing Stewart Mtizwa as the acting mayor, a move observers said was designed to bring Zvenyika Chawatama back as acting town clerk.

Chawatama is on the run and last week, he was involved in a high-speed chase with police after fleeing arrest at Town House.

He is accused of imposing himself as the town clerk after he acted for three days during which he made far-reaching “illegal” changes at Town House.

One of the decisions Chawatama reportedly made was the suspension of officials from the human capital department without council approval, a decision town clerk Hosiah Chisango sought to reverse in a letter addressed to chief security officer Collen Tongoona.

“He was dishing out posts to relatives of government officials to try and secure his stay at the helm of council, but there are some in Zanu PF who are opposed to his stay and they used the Special Anti-Corruption Unit to deal with him,” a Town House source said.

A letter from Tongoona, with the blessing of Chawatama, provincial development co-ordinator Tafadzwa Muguti and the ministry barred over 30 employees whose cases are before the courts from setting foot at Town House, a development observers said was meant to pave way for looting.

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