BY PRIDE MZARABANI HARARE residents and property rights advocates have thrown their weight behind the Jacob Mafume-led council decision to suspend the controversial Pomona waste management deal.
The project has courted controversy, resulting in council and other concerned stakeholders condemning it as scandalous.
Last week, government defended the project as necessary to “clean-up” Harare, while Presidential spokesperson George Charamba declared that the Mafume-led council had no power to suspend it.
But Harare residents associations said they were fully behind the suspension of the project.
Ruben Akili, a regional advocacy officer with the Combined Harare Residents Association, said: “The local authority has legislative power to make ordinances, fiscal power to raise revenue, the power to make decisions, and to some extent administrative power, the moment you see the centre involved in both is a clear violation of devolution.”Read more…
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Councillors belonging to the Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC Alliance were outnumbered after they tried to resist the suspension of the waste to energy management project.
“The major weakness we have is the local government laws, which give the Minister of Local Government powers to rescind a decision by the council. The laws are not in sync with the current Constitution,” Akili added.
Property rights advocacy and Coalition for Market and Liberal Solutions Zimbabwe leader Rejoice Ngwenya said there was no public agreement beyond scrutiny.
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“If the current leadership is unhappy, it is up to the High Court to establish any violations of standard procurement practices. The deal could, may, can, and should be reversible,” Ngwenya said.
Opposition Harare North Member of Parliament Allan Markham has filed an application at the High Court seeking to reverse the deal.
The matter is yet to be heard.
Harare Residents Trust director Precious Shumba said: “Section 5 of the Constitution recognises local authorities as one of the three tiers of government. The three tiers should have a co-operative working relationship. That is not what is happening in this arrangement. The government is imposing the deal.”
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