Harare residents urged to boycott rates

Harare residents urged to boycott rates

HARARE - The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) this week officially launched its rates boycott campaign. Seventy members of CHRA in Ward structures leadership lodged their objections at Town House and the Ministry o

f Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development.

“The protest marks the beginning of a winter of discontent by the residents of Harare who are unable and unwilling to pay any rates to the municipality until elections are held and sanity prevails at Town House,” says a statement.
The association encourages all residents to play their part by collecting letters of objection from their offices Daventry House Room 103, Cnr South Avenue/Angwa St. and submitting them to the municipal authorities.

Each person needs five copies of the letter – one each for Town House, Permanent Secretary Local Government, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), CHRA, and for the individual objecting.

The letter says, in part: “The principles of natural justice which the Council is legally obliged to observe in terms of the law have been flagrantly disregarded and as such the decision to review the rates is unlawful, unreasonable, and as such a legal nullity which I feel I cannot consciously pay.”

Local information minister Ignatius Chombo told the local press this week that he did the right thing to reappoint the illegal Makwavarara commission for another six month terms, despite the fact that the principle of re-appointing commissions beyond the mandatory nine months has been ruled illegal by both the High Court and the Supreme Court.

“It is not what the minister thinks but it is what the people of Harare want in the first place and what the law says about the commissioners. The only substantive municipal employee was the Town Clerk who is now suspended. All remaining heads of departments are in acting capacities. The Minister has indirectly appointed Sekesai Makwavarara as the new Executive Mayor Harare without going to the ballot. CHRA will urge residents of Harare to stop paying their rates to the Municipality until mayoral and council elections are held,” said Israel Mabhoo, CHRA’s acting Chairperson. – Staff reporter

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