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Mabvuku residents cry foul over Makwavarara's decision
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
The Resident Issue 34
April 13, 2004

It must have been a case of bad timing. What the Deputy Mayor of Harare, Sekesayi Makwavarara took to be a disciplinary hearing at 4:30 am turned out to be for 4:30pm . It was a meeting that never was. Now she has decided to quit the MDC.

The Deputy Mayor has not enjoyed her stay in the party ever since she became Acting Mayor in April 2003. Residents in Mabvuku stoned her house; residents from the rest of the city scoffed at her efforts and councillors showed contempt over some of her policies when things came to a head with the Ministry in 2003.

Her recent decision to stand as an independent stung many a voter in Mabvuku. The Association feels the Acting Mayor has not done enough for her ward. Her decision to stand as independent is not likely to change matters. "She never held a meeting with residents ever since she was elected councillor." stated an irate member of the Mabvuku Residents Association. "CHRA should help the association come up with a statement that we have been used by her to further her own political interests. Who is she representing as an independent councillor?"

The accusations stem from the councillor's failure to come to terms with the demands of her ward. Mabvuku and Tafara have experienced perennial water problems and the sewerage reticulation system has left a lot to be desired. Much of the problems faced by the ward are the creation of vandals.They have tempered with the electricity sub stations and the water valves, damaging them beyond repair. Despite spirited efforts, Council has been unable to keep up with the problems affecting the ward.

For Ms. Makwavarara's part however, violating the urban councils act is a cardinal sin. Ms. Makwavarara has vowed to abide by the Act's dictates, even though she has over stayed her tenure as Deputy Mayor by close to a year and is more answerable to the Minister of Local Government Public Works and National Housing than to the residents who elected her into office. Residents can no longer find recourse in the legislation in the country, and efforts towards reform are facing hurdles at every turn.

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