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irked by Mayor's defensive statements on purchase Mercedes
Residents Association (CHRA)
August 17, 2009
The Combined Harare Residents
Association (CHRA) is disappointed by Mayor Masunda's defensive
statements on Council's acquisition of a high profile and
expensive Mercedes Benz for him. The Mayor's statements have
done nothing except to provoke the anger of the ratepayers who are
failing to put food on their tables because most of their earnings
are going to the City's Treasury and yet little is being done
to improve service delivery.
The Mayor's arguments
that the car was budgeted for and that it is Council property do
not hold water. Residents are not concerned about what has, and
has not been budgeted for but what they want is to see their hard
earned money being put to good use. Furthermore, when the City of
Harare announced its 2009 budget, nothing was mentioned about the
purchase of an expensive car for the Mayor. The Mayor must note
that the purchase of an expensive car at a time when the Council
is making noise about being bankrupt and harassing residents with
letters of final demand is reflective of a Council that has a serious
problem of misdirected priorities. Residents understand that the
Mayor also needs to drive a good car as he goes about his official
duties but would it not be more reasonable to purchase a less expensive
but good car? It is a known fact that the Council has not done much
to show for its existence at Town House taking into consideration
the poor state of service delivery in Harare. Roads are flowered
by pot holes; street and traffic lights are not working and they
have not been maintained; piles of garbage are littered at most
street corners in the residential areas and shopping centers; raw
sewerage is still a dreaded neighbor in most high density areas.
In spite of all these calamities, the City of Harare is harassing
residents with letters of final demand and threatening them with
legal action. How can the Mayor have the guts to say that the residents'
complaints are not founded?
Residents know that the
car is part of Council property but they would rather have garbage
trucks to remove the menacing garbage piles rather than have an
expensive Mercedes that will only benefit one person. It is also
unexpected of the Mayor to brag about the numerous personal cars
that he has. If he does not need the car why is he accepting it?
The Mayor must also remember that when he got into office he said
that he has his own things and that he would not allow Council to
pamper him with the ratepayers' money. The Mayor also graced
the media talking about his various connections in the business
world and made promises that he would turn around the state of service
delivery in Harare. Residents want to see things happening on the
ground and it is the job of the Mayor to make sure that residents
get value for their money.
This move is a blatant
insult to residents who have been served with final letters of demand
under the guise that the city has run out of money. Residents maintain
that they will not pay for non-existent services.
CHRA remains committed
to advocating for good, transparent and accountable local governance
as well as lobbying for quality and affordable municipal (and other)
services on a non partisan basis.
Visit the CHRA
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