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Makwavarara Commission illegal - CHRA
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
December 13, 2006

The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has strongly rejected the extension the tenure of the commission running the affairs of Harare.

Yesterday, Wednesday 13 December, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development announced that Minister Chombo had extended the tenure of the commission running the Harare city led by Ms Sekesayi Makwavarara. This comes at a time when residents are disgruntled and dissatisfied with the council's service delivery.

The commission has been running the city to the ground since December 2004 after its appointment by the Government to temporarily run the city's affairs. Harare's reputation as the sunshine city has been compromised by the puppet commission which has neglected its delivery system and has also been dogged with allegations of corruption and mismanagement.

The Catalyst caught up with Mr. Mike Davies, the CHRA chairperson to get a brief comment on the situation and the position of the residents. Mr. Davies pointed out that the extension was illegal and against the dictates of the Urban Council's Act which gives citizens the right to elect their own leaders.

Davies went on to say that the extension is merely a political maneuver by the government at the expense of residents and service delivery. He called on residents to resist the infringement of their rights through demonstrations which will send a clear message to the regime.

Asked what the association would do in response, the Chairperson pointed out that the only way to resolve the crisis would be through disobedience and demonstrations. CHRA has appealed to the government and parliament through petitions with no response. They also appealed to the judiciary in June 2005 to no avail considering the polarized nature of the system and their collaboration with the regime. The state has clearly shown that they cannot be trusted to solve grievances.

Mr. Davies clearly distinguished between a government and a regime pointing out that Zimbabwe is being run by a regime which seizes power through electoral fraud, subversion of laws and use of violence against its citizens.
It is our view as Crisis Coalition that the government should give back to the people their right to elect their council and not have one imposed upon them by an illegitimate government. The exit of Makwavarara and her band wagon of servants is long overdue and the people must stand up and claim their rights.

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