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Local government media content update
Residents Association (CHRA)
April 17, 2012
wants case referred for arbitration
Easihold Private Limited,
a South Africa registered parking management firm, filed at the
High Court seeking referral of their dispute with Harare City Council
for arbitration. The municipality and Easihold entered into a joint
venture parking business in 2009 but on January 12 this year, Council
terminated the agreement. Pending determination by an arbitrator,
Easihold is also seeking another order interdicting council from
terminating the joint venture. Easihold argues that it has heavily
invested in the Easipark deal and that cancelling the agreement
in such a short space of time was highly prejudicial to the company.
Easihold stated in the application that the cancellation publicity
had an effect of tarnishing the image and reputation of the company
as a parking management company.
probe report kept under wraps
Kwekwe - The four member
committee dispatched by Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo
four months ago to investigate allegations of corruption and abuse
of council property at the local authority, has not had its report
made public, it has emerged. The Kwekwe Residents'and Ratepayers'
Development Association (KRRDA), which played a leading role in
inviting Chombo to send the probe team, is not amused and is calling
on Chombo to release the report. Secretary for Local Government
Killian Mupingo told Newsday yesterday the report would be made
public once the committee had presented its findings to Chombo.
Local Government Deputy Minister Sesil Zvidzai, who has openly clashed
with his boss, said he suspected Chombo could be too embarrassed
to release the report because there may be nothing to report on.
The four member committee was sent in November to investigate allegations
of corruption against management and the MDC-T dominated council,
including details surrounding the dismissal of city treasurer Albert
Zingwe and the appointment of an audit manager Moriss Mutema as
the acting treasurer.
mass bus system riles kombi operators
operators in Harare and the Zanu PF Youth League are not happy with
moves by Harare City Council to engage Ashok Leyland of India to
provide buses to service commuters in the capital. They argue the
move will elbow out small businesses operating under difficult conditions.
But, ordinary citizens feel the move is welcome as they are tired
of abuse at the hands of commuter bus operators and their crews.
A transport operator, Mr Innocent Hamandishe, who is also Zanu PF
Youth league secretary for indigenization and economic empowerment
said there were 5000 kombis in Harare and over 10 000 people risked
losing jobs if the deal was proved. Mr Nyasha Chikuni of Glen said
a new firm in the transport industry will force kombi operators
to lower their prices.
Council moves to shut down lodges, brothels
Harare City Council is
worried with the number of houses that have been turned into offices,
lodges and brothels and will soon launch investigations with a view
to shutting them down. This follows complains of massive accommodation
shortage in the capital leading to landlords raising rentals. Many
houses around the city centre, meant for residential purposes, in
suburbs like Milton Park, Belgravia and Avondale, have been converted
into offices and other facilities while unlicensed creches have
mushroomed in high-density areas. Mayor Muchadei Masunda said the
chaos was a result of the inherited mess from previous councils.
is a cruel man: Zvidzai
The Zimbabwe Mail
Bulawayo - Deputy
Minister of Local Government Sesel Zvidzai who is also an MDC-T
member blasted Minister Chombo saying he is a "cruel man"
abusing the Urban
Council Act by continuing to fire and suspend Mayors countrywide.
Zvidzai added: "The Urban Councils Act should actually be
repealed as it is giving too much power to Chombo". Chombo
has been crossing swords with the former opposition party since
his Zanu PF party began losing control of urban councils to the
MDC. Prime Minister Tsvangirai recently said Chombo was attempting
to destroy the MDC by dismissing elected councilors ahead of watershed
polls to be held most likely next year. Chombo says the reason why
he is dismissing MDC councilors and mayors is because most of them
still to contain typhoid
Cases of typhoid
are still being reported in Harare's high-density suburbs
everyday since the outbreak of the disease last year. Head of Harare's
two infectious disease hospitals, Beatrice and Wilkins, Clemence
Duri said most of the cases were emanating from Dzvivarasekwa and
Kuwadzana high-density suburbs, areas which always experience frequent
water cuts. More than 4000 cases of Typhoid have been recorded in
Harare since October last year while nearly 1000 people have been
treated for dysentery in the past 2 months. Duri said the Harare
city council has engaged kombi conductors and a local mobile operator
to help in the campaign against the spread of Typhoid among residents.
Poor waste management continues in Harare despite the fact that
the local authority was recently fined US$5000 by Environmental
Management Agency for the crime.
ground blues for deMbare
Champions Dynamos have
plunged into a training ground crisis ahead of their Castle Lager
Premier Soccer League season opener against Hardbody after the Harare
City Council limited the use of Rufaro Stadium where they prefer
to train. Fifa, who funded the artificial turf at the stadium, advised
Zifa that the facility be used only once a week after noting the
turf was suffering damage due to over-use.
councillors clash with Mayor Masunda
Harare City Councillors
clashed with Mayor Muchadei Masunda over his handling of performance
based contracts for the city directors amid reports that the mayor
was protecting some officials whose contracts of employment expired.
Councillors do not want to renew contracts of some of the directors
citing poor performance. However, some of the directors claim the
councilors want to employ MDC-T sympathizers. They allege that some
of the directors are drawing salaries and benefits without authority
from the city because they do not have binding employment contracts.
The city fathers also want to know the amounts that each director
takes home every month arguing they were the employers. But Mr Masunda
is not happy with some officials who leaked with information relating
to the employment contracts of the senior functionaries.
The African football
jungle proved too much for FC Platinum and Hwange to handle at the
weekend as both teams crashed out of the Caf Champions League and
Confederations cup respectively. Dynamos, said only 23 469 people
paid their way into the stadium and a gross of $111 773 was realized
from their Caf Champions League against Liga Muculmana of Mozambique.
After all expenses in which the Harare city council claimed the
biggest chunk of 20%, the home team went home with only $52 936.
The City Council were the biggest beneficiary of the big crowd as
they claimed their 20% of the gross income for the usage of the
stadium, an amount which totaled $22 354, 60.
Local Govt Minister under fire for suspending Gwanda Mayor
Voice of America
Residents in the small
town of Gwanda, the capital of Matebeleland South province, also
came to the defense of ousted Mayor Lionel De Necker, describing
him as a hard working public servant who cared less about politics,
but more about service delivery. The MDC formation launched a broadside
Friday at Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo for suspending
its Gwanda mayor. Minister Chombo accused De Necker of defying his
orders. Over the years, Chombo, a Zanu PF official, has targeted
MDC municipalities, suspending councillors in a crusade widely viewed
as politically motivated. Gwanda resident, Jaston Mazhale told VOA
that De Necker served the town well, adding his removal was regrettable.
Kariba municipality is
reportedly on the brink of collapse following allegations of looting
of council resources by management. The MDC-T run council owes creditors
over US$3 million. Of the said amount, council owes Zesa US$1 million
in an unpaid electricity bill. Council workers have gone for three
months without pay, compromising service delivery. Mr Makunde, the
Town clerk attributed the woes Kariba is facing to failure by residents
to pay rates. But workers who recently went on a six-day industrial
action demanding payment of outstanding salaries blame alleged poor
management and corruption for the financial problems. Council allegedly
approved the purchase of vehicles without going to tender. Council
also bought a minibus for councillors while 'employees are
going to work in a lorry'. Councillors were reportedly granted
three-month advance allowances at a time workers have gone for months
without being paid.
of Harare residents drink unsafe water
Sixty percent of Harare
residents have no access to safe drinking water, according to Mayor
Muchadei Masunda. In a report detailing the water situation in the
capital, Masunda also added that raw sewerage is sometimes offloaded
into Harare's water sources due to crumbling infrastructure.
"Only 30% have access to safe water for between 3 and 5 days
per week. 20% have access to between one and two days per week;
10% rely on boreholes and unprotected wells; 40% of the population
lacks adequate sanitation," said Masunda. The mayor said US$15
million is required to rehabilitate the Prince Edward Water treatment
plant; US$17 million for Morton Jaffray plant; US$15 million for
the development and installation of a land information management
system and a further US$20 million to upgrade and capacitate the
sewerage treatment plants.
taken to court
Three suspended Chinhoyi
councillors, who include Mayor Claudius Nyamhondoro and his deputy
Willy Nyambi, have taken Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo
to court demanding their immediate reinstatement to their previous
positions. The trio who also include Ward 6 councillor Owen Charuza
were suspended between late last year and early this year on allegations
of misconduct. But their lawyer Tawanda Zhuwarara in an urgent High
Court chamber application demanded the lifting of the suspension
since the 45-day deadline had lapsed without any disciplinary hearings
being conducted against his clients. Chombo failed to hold a legitimate
hearing or determine the guilt of any of the applicants in this
matter within the statutory limit of 45 days. "As it stands,
the applicants are on an indefinite suspension which is illegal
and improper. It is just and equitable that the costs in this matter
be awarded to the applicants due to the fact that this application
has been necessitated by the respondent's illegal conduct,"
too powerless to stop boss Chombo's axe
The hullabaloo over Ignatius
Chombo's alleged purge of former opposition party leaders
running local authorities is a matter that government and the legislature
appear not to take as seriously as is apparently needful. The outcry
is about the Local Government Minister allegedly abusing the Urban
Councils Act, which gives the Minister sweeping powers to unilaterally
remove from office elected officials without anyone questioning
his actions, or the rationale behind them, and without providing
his victims a chance to defend themselves. All Zvidzai can do is
to 'declare null and void his boss's decisions, but
at the end of the day, it is Chombo's word that carries the
day. He has been to almost all local authorities suspending and
dismissing officials, while Zvidzai's voice, full of sound
and fury, echoed in his wake-continue to signifying nothing.
City Council to generate electricity from waste
The Harare City Council
is negotiating with a local gas company for a joint venture to generate
electricity from waste at the Firle and Crowborough sewage works.
The council's Business Committee says in a report made available
that negotiations for the 50:50 joint venture between council and
Harare gas are to be concluded. The power produced is expected to
prevent pollution and reduce dependency on Zesa. The council has
since registered the Harare Waste to Energy Company to spearhead
the project. The company will have two directors each from the two
joint-venture partners. A total of US$3.0 million would be required
to acquire generators for the project which would take 18 months
to complete. Meanwhile, the Harare City Council is also negotiating
another joint venture with Infinite Energy Zimbabwe to extract biogas
from the Golden Quarry and Pomona land fills a few kilometers north
of the capital.
Harare gets proper, efficient public transport system
So far two companies
have expressed interest in providing this system in partnership
with the Harare City Council. The council, in such a deal, has to
grant a monopoly to the service provider, has to provide land for
terminuses and workshops, has to lay out bus stops and agree to
the basic route structure. What worries us is that there is already
talk of subsidies from central government, as if the Treasury is
ever going to have enough money to throw away on urban people, and
that the council is talking over specific schemes instead of seeking
tenders, or at least seeking information from similar sized cities
on what fare formulas could look like.
in Harare suburbs
Fears of cholera and
typhoid re-ignited on Thursday after many Harare residents went
for a whole day without a fresh water supply to their houses. Eastlea,
Highlands, Greendale, Derbyshire, Budiriro, Glen-view, Highfield,
Borrowdale, Shortson, Msasa Park were seen without water supply
to their taps. Harare this year became the talk of the world after
the city's water was found by a group of doctors to be contaminated
with faeces. The city council refuted the findings. Efforts to obtain
a comment from the Harare city council on the water supply failure
was fruitless as the phone kept ringing without being answered.
drag Chombo to court
Local Government Minister
Ignatius Chombo was dragged to the Bulawayo High Court by Matobo
villagers for appointing five Zanu PF activists as special interest
councillors to their local authority. The six villagers are challenging
the appointments, which they describe as illegal. Chombo appointed
five members from his party who lost parliamentary and council elections
in 2008, as Matobo special interest councillors. The villagers in
their urgent application filed on Wednesday cited Chombo, the chairperson
of the Matobo rural district council, the councils chief executive
officer and the local authority as first, second, third and fourth
rapped over housing
Harare residents accused
council of delaying implementation of housing projects launched
last year. Some of the projects include a CABS project to construct
more than 3 000 housing units and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations
housing to benefit hundreds of Dzivarasekwa residents. Combined
Harare Residents' Association Chairman Simbarashe Moyo claimed
delays were caused by corruption. Harare has an estimated half a
million people on the housing waiting list while the national housing
backlog stands at around 1.25 million. Residents accused councillors
and senior managers of not doing enough to address the issue. Councillors
recently attributed invasions by a shadowy Zanu PF group of open
spaces for failure by management to act fast on outstanding projects.
Harare city council has
expressed concern over the proliferation of creches, the majority
of which do not meet the minimum hygienic standards recommended
by the local authority. There are fears that poor hygienic conditions
would expose the children to communicable diseases, especially now
that Harare is experiencing frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases
such as Typhoid, dysentery and cholera. A council discussion on
conditions of creches in Harare sparked by the rising number of
applications for change of use of residential houses to creches.
Councillor Urayayi Mangwiro said people were taking advantage of
the gap left by the few early learning institutions offered by government.
Mangwiro said very few schools were offering Zero Grade classes,
leaving parents with no option but to look for alternative institutions
for their children.
in attempt to subvert Urban Council Act reforms
Because of Local Government
Minister Dr. Ignatius Chombo's abuse of the Urban Councils
Act, parliament has sought to amend it, mostly to reduce the Minister's
ability to take unilateral decisions as Chombo has been abusing
this power to reverse the losses encountered by his party (Zanu
PF) in local government elections. To date, at least 30 councillors
have been either dismissed or suspended by the Minister, but now
that the demand for change is gaining traction in Parliament, ZANU
PF is arguing that MDC-T is smuggling bills which are not supposed
to be discussed in parliament, according to the Combined Harare
Residents' Association, Chra. CHRA and other civil society
organization that have an inalienable interest in local government
are concerned especially by the power of the Minister to suspend
councilors, the functions of the local government board, appointment
of commissions, the ceremonial status of Mayors, council revenue
and audits, and non-recognition of Residents Associations.
far from being contained
The Sunday Mail
The number of patients
seeking treatment for typhoid increased amid indications that the
water-borne disease is yet to be contained. The Ministry of Health
and Child Welfare intensified its awareness programmes with a view
to curbing the spread of the disease. More than 4500 typhoid cases
have been recorded across the country since the outbreak last October.
Reports show that the disease has spread to Mashonaland West and
Central as well as Norton. Dr Manangazira said the country would
not be susceptible to disease outbreaks of such a primitive nature
if local authorities worked hard to provide clean water and proper
the CHRA fact
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