MDC condemns Chombo

HARARE - The Movement for Democratic Change deplores, in the strongest terms, the decision by the Robert Mugabe dictatorship, through the failed and discredited local government minister Ignatious Chombo, to extend the life of the so-called Commission running the City of Harare. Harare has become an

extremely dangerous place to live in. Burst sewers disgorge raw contents onto the streets and remain unattended to for months. The quality of the water has deteriorated to a level where residents escape disease by sheer luck. In many suburbs, even that grimy water is not available. Traffic lights no longer work. The roads are in a state of permanent damage with pool-size potholes at every turn, even in the city centre. Sanitary lanes have been filled up with uncollected rubbish. Public amenities, neighbourhood parks, park benches and rest havens for senior citizens, swimming pools, libraries and ablution facilities and public conveniences have long collapsed – many beyond repair. The scale of the damage eludes comprehension and defies description. Yet Zanu (PF) and Chombo see nothing amiss with the status quo! Harare is Zimbabwe’s window to the world and houses the nation’s prime intellectual minds. Harare epitomizes the dictatorship’s complete failure to allow democracy and political space to mature in Zimbabwe. The decay reflects and mirrors a deepening national crisis of governance and a serious political emergency, with roots firmly stuck in a 25-year Zanu (PF) culture of patronage and misrule. Since the dismissal of Engineer Elias Mudzuri, the last democratically elected mayor of Harare – for yet to be explained reasons – Harare has progressively failed to provide essential services and comfort to its estimated three million residents. Mudzuri’s record as Mayor is clear to all. All indications are that Mudzuri and his council could have cleaned up the city had it not been for Chombo’s constant interference in local government. Undaunted and without shame, Chombo has moved into Chitungwiza, Mutare, Chegutu and other cities, leaving a trail of destruction – simply because these urban centres are in the hands of MDC councils. The appointment of Sekesai Makwavarara — Zimbabwe’s notorious political speculator who defected from the MDC — to chair a regime-designed Commission to run the city, has backfired. Aided by Zanu (PF) and Chombo’s minions, Makwavarara has presided over the demise of Harare and finished off the little that remained of the sunshine city while at the same time increasing rates and supplementary charges for non-existent services. Zanu (PF) and Chombo argue that Makwavarara and her associates have a turn around strategy for the city, hence the extension of their mandate as a Commission. This is far from the truth. No turn around strategy is possible either locally or at a national level without embracing a radical paradigm shift in the way Zimbabwe is governed. We need a new beginning. We need a new Zimbabwe. We need food and jobs. We need to create an investor-friendly climate to strengthen our revenue base. We need to revive commerce and industry and to re-join the international community. We must respect people’s basic political and human rights. We must restore our dignity and self-esteem. With Zanu (PF) and people like Chombo imposing Makwavarara and her associates as a Commission running cities, we can easily forget about prospects for any regime-inspired turn-around strategy for the City of Harare. The people must resist the direct threats to life imposed by the actions of this regime and its political minions. Our democratic resistance thrust must be part of a holistic struggle for a new dispensation. We have had enough of this dictatorial squeeze. We must determine our own destiny. We must reclaim Harare. Zanu (PF) and Chombo must explain the extension of the Commission’s mandate to the people of Harare. Zanu (PF) and Chombo must explain to the extension of the Commission to the people of Zimbabwe. Zanu (PF) and Chombo must be made to account for imposing their favoured Commission when nothing, absolutely nothing, stops the regime to grant political space to the people of Harare; and allow the people to elect leaders of their choice. – Nelson Chamisa, MP, Secretary for Information and Publicity.

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