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The peoples' court in Rugare
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
April 30, 2007

Residents testifying in the ongoing tribunal workshops were on Saturday 28 April 2007 categorical in their rejection of the illegal commission running the affairs of Harare and promised to intensify their anti-commission campaign until elections are held in Harare.

The residents, as witnesses in the CHRA peoples' court, highlighted the level of hypocrisy by the regime and the state of helplessness that has engulfed the communities of Kambuzuma, Rugare and Warren Park. They outlined in graphic detail how their lifestyles have deteriorated under the imposed Sekesai Makwavarara-led commission since its appointment in December 2004.

In his testimony, David Hove, the Chairperson for Ward 14 in Kambuzuma said he wondered why the commission remained at Town House while service delivery was deteriorating.

"The Commission was not voted into office. The residents of Kambuzuma have never held a meeting with this commission," Hove said. "We want to elect our own leaders at Town House and help each other to develop Harare into a model City." Other testimonies came from residents of Rugare, and Warren Park.

The casting of the CHRA Tribunal heard the case between the residents of Rugare, Kambuzuma and Warren Park vs. the Chairperson of the illegal commission Sekesai Makwavarara and her superior Ignatius Chiminya Morgan Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development.

Members of the cast are University of Zimbabwe (UZ) students Kennedy Masiye, Wallen Chiwawa, Andrew Mutsiwa (Judiciary), Terrence Chimhavi (Narrator), Francisca Midzi (Prosecutor), Farai Nhende (Interpreter), Sindisa Ndlovu (defense counsel), Wellington Mahohoma (Chombo), Danai Mabuto (Makwavarara) and Moreblessing Mudzingwa as the court orderly.

The play will be showcased in 18 locations across Harare and seeks to highlight the extent of the collapse of service delivery, the undermining of the judiciary by the State and the wishes of the residents in the arena of local governance.

Residents participate in the mock trials (Tribunal) as State witnesses. The testimonies place emphasis on service delivery, the rule of law and how they relate to the unfolding local governance crises in Harare. The play's focus on the two faces of repression at local government level is a milestone in CHRA's development of an effective and creative advocacy tool.

The play uses previous High Court rulings on the commission. A Guilty Verdict was reached in Rugare and the residents ululated in unison, revealing the depth of their suffering under an imposed regime.

The Commission is illegal! Elections for Harare now!

Visit the CHRA fact sheet

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