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Does Mahachi deserve another term in office
Residents Association (CHRA)
January 15, 2013
town clerk of Harare city council, Tendai Mahachi's contract
is due to expire next month. This is despite the fact that council
is honoring up some of his contractual obligations which include
the purchase of a top of the range vehicle. However, the question
on board is that should he be given another lease of his professional
reports in the state run newspaper, the Herald have reported that
the town-clerk has reportedly assumed the duties of the director
of waste management, Mr Dombo Chibanda. Mr Dombo Chibanda was briefly
dismissed in December sighting lack of satisfactory performance.
This came against a background of uncollected refuse, sprouting
of garbage dumps in communities and the general poor sanitation
conditions in the central business district zone. The town-clerk
is said to have roped in the services of the Zimbabwe National Army
(Z.N.A) to assist in the collection of refuse. The question is "where
was the town clerk during the tenure of his office when things were
deteriorating at an alarming rate?
In 2008, the
Minister of local government rural and urban development, Dr I.
Chombo managed to push for the change of status of mayor's
from executive to ceremonial. This then meant that the time that
is spend by these actors (Mayors) attending to the affairs of cities
is quite minimal which then goes on to give ample time and mandate
incognito to town clerks to exercise some of the duties that were
being done by mayors. In short, the state of affairs at town house
should not be the problem of councilors, but is as a result of the
chief of staff and his directors.
In 2008, we witnessed the worst ever Cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe
and Harare being one of the worse hit because of the poor sanitary
conditions and water challenges at prevalence then. This was followed
by a series of reports
of typhoid which were largely felt in Mabvuku-Tafara and Dzivarasekwa.
Water problems persisted with residents from the aforementioned
areas being sent bills in United States dollars yet they had not
received any water since 2006. Some of the bills have accumulated
to about $5000 due to the interest being charged per month and this
has inspired the local authority to attach people's property.
is as good as non-existent with many people now 6 years old on the
housing waiting list. Stands are now being distributed at the mercy
of bogus land developers who are benefiting from corrupt speculation
and hording of council land whilst the majority of the poor are
not able to benefit anything from that arrangement because of the
land-prices being charged.
To date, Harare
in general does not have water. Water has become one rare commodity
with some suburbs especially the southern suburbs going for months
without water only for it to return at mid-night for about 2 hours
only. Failure to raise enough revenue has seen the city go for a
year losing 50% of treated water and this has raised concerns on
the city's ability to curb diarrheal disease like typhoid
and cholera. How the City is planning on arresting the water problem
remains a mystery save for the Kunzvi dam mantra which is taking
forever to finalize.
It is against
this background that the town clerk seems to be playing petty politics
when he is ignoring the real issues that need his urgent intervention.
Whilst we appreciate that the issue of refuse collection remains
a cause for concern, we reiterate that refuse collection has improved
in general from the state it was in 2008 and it really cannot be
the most urgent of matters that need interventions. We urge the
town clerk to intervene on the issue of water and ensure that lasting
solutions are realized in order for us to arrest these diseases
that continue to haunt us as a City.
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