CHRA vows to continue protests

HARARE - The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has vowed to continue mass demonstrations despite several arrests following a peaceful protest on July 19.
Over 300 people from across the 45 Harare wards took to the streets to protest against "the crisis of governance" in the City

of Harare. Riot police broke up the demonstration with batons, arresting 19 people and seriously injuring three of the protestors. Those arrested were charged under the Miscellaneous Offences Act ordered to pay a fine of $250 000.
Jabusile Madyazvimbishi Shumba from CHRA, criticised the Harare City Council Commissioner Ms Sekesayi Makwavarara for failing to improve the quality of services provided by the council. “Today, the quality of service provision has deteriorated to unprecedented levels with piles of mounting refuse, burst sewer pipes, erratic water supplies and the death of 14 children due to a cholera outbreak characterizing most of the ‘successes’ scored by the commission since its appointment,” he said.
He said that the CHRA had taken a series of resolutions including intensifying the rates boycott campaign, work with other civic society organisations and continuing to hold sustained mass demonstrations at Town House and District Offices over the collapsed service delivery in Harare. The CHRA also demanded the immediate holding of council and mayoral elections in the City of Harare.
Shumba said that current council did not represent the views of local residents as it had been installed by Minister Chombo in 2004 who has since reappointed the commission beyond its legal term. “The Commissioner’s tenure has been characterized by extravagance and abuse of public funds at the expense of declining service provision,” he said, “it is on record that Ms Makwavarara wanted $35 billion for curtains to furnish the Mayoral mansion, when the city of Harare has gone for months without basic services.”
He also said that since their appointment the council had failed to consult with residents over key decisions like the 2006 Budget, which “placed an unbearable burden on low income earners and pensioners.”- Staff reporter

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