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MDC fully behind Harare for defying Zanu PF and Chombo's senseless
Movement for Democratic Change
Chombo, a Zanu PF politburo member and the Minister of Local Government,
looks determined to fleece Harare's residents of their hard-earned
income and to sabotage service delivery through unending investigations
and blatant interference into the affairs of the city. The MDC is
concerned that after Chombo probed the council for what he called
irregular evictions of residents from council houses and suspended
the councillors he suspected of wrong-doing, he launched yet another
committee to pursue the same issue at an astronomical cost to the
In both cases,
Chombo simply fixes the charges for the investigations, without
any justification or consultation with either the council or Mayor
Muchadeyi Masunda, sparking unnecessary confrontation to the detriment
of the city's residents and rate-payers. The MDC fully supports
Mayor Masunda in his refusal to folk out more than US$100 000 for
Chombo's new nine-member team, chaired by lawyer Andrew Makoni.
Mayor Masunda is right to protect the people by querying the rationale
of setting up two separate teams to conduct essentially the same
probe, in particular over Chombo's apparent failure to explain
the manner in which he decided on the team's collective fee.
the Urban Councils
Act allows for the local authority to pay for any investigators
that the Government commissions. But how did he fix lawyer Makoni's
fee at US$30 000; US$18 000 for a T. Mangami; US$13 000 each for
a F. Mbetsa, a T. Goko and a Mrs Chimoga; US$9 000 for a Mrs B.
Rubwe; and US$8 500 for a C. Musango. In addition, Harare is expected
to pay an interpreter identified only as Matubu US$8 500 with Mr
F. Matuku, the transcriber, another US$6 000.
the above, the Harare City Council has already paid US$37 000 under
protest to the Kwenda committee Chombo appointed earlier for a similar
assignment. It is common cause that since Chombo and Zanu PF fired
the democratically elected council, led by Engineer Elias Mudzuri
in 2004 and replaced it with illegal commissions for nearly five
years, Chombo was effectively the actual executive mayor of Harare
for nearly half a decade. In that period, the city slumped into
an abyss, lost its patina and became a Zanu PF looters' closet.
At the time,
Chombo flatly refused to allow residents to elect a council in terms
of the same Urban Councils Act to which he seeks refuge today. The
High Court issued several court orders requiring Chombo to observe
the rule of law, which he ignored without shame. In 2007, after
dumping the Makwavara commission, Chombo brazenly appointed Michael
Mahachi, his former school-mate and personal friend at Kutama Mission
to front for him at Harare City Council.
After the 29
March 2008 elections, Chombo delayed the swearing in of democratically
elected councillors for 63 days, in a clear breach of the Urban
Councils Act, to fast-track critical decisions for his own personal
benefit and whose impact negatively continues to affect by the people
of Harare today. These include the appointment of what he called
a care-taker council, again led by Michael Mahachi; the change of
use and allocation of 20 hectares of prime suburban land in Hellensvale
to Chombo's private company, Harvest-net; the awarding of
lucrative contracts to a shadowy company to acquire land and to
build the Harare Airport Road; and the illegal employment of 742
council workers, mainly Zanu PF fanatics, to key municipal posts.
The MDC maintains
its position that Chombo has gone too far. The party believes the
man is unfit for public office and must be restrained, as a matter
of urgency. The party is fully behind the Masunda-led council in
its desire to bring back the shine to Harare. There is absolutely
no basis for the council to fork out such an obscene fee for Chombo's
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