Overgrown grass a cause for concern to residents

A local residents’ lobby group in Harare has called for the resignation of town clerk Tendai Mahachi for allegedly failing to adequately advice city fathers on important social issues and human resources management.

The Harare Residents Trust (HRT) in a press statement said it was deeply concerned by the city’s lack of preparedness as the rain season wrecks havoc with motorist and school children are in constant danger.

“The Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) is deeply concerned with the inaction of the City of Harare on the overgrown grass within all Harare communities.

“The city has experienced heavy rains in the past month, a situation that has caused some flooding along main roads due to blocked drainages,” HRT said in a statement.

It added that the neglect of the overgrown grass has posed serious threats to motorists, pedestrians and school children in Harare.

HRT said, “We places the blame on the City of Harare’s Department of Housing and Community Services, whose responsibility it is to ensure a safe environment for communities, a full council meeting held on 15 of December 2011 made a resolution to hire Ward Based Groups to cut grass within communities.

“But Town Clerk Dr Michael Mahachi advised the council that there was a standing directive from the Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development barring the City of Harare from engaging part time workers to cut grass at community level.”

It added that the excuse demonstrates the incapacity of the Town Clerk to properly advise the city of Harare on operational issues.

HRT cited examples of areas of Kuwadzana Phase 3 which it says has grass that has grown to a height of a meter high and Mbare’s Stodart Community hall and other council recreation facilities creating safe breeding grounds for mosquitoes, snakes and hiding places for muggers.

“The City of Harare’s Environment Management Committee should not just watch as the life of school children is put at risk by some incompetent officials in council.

“The committee, as the policymaking body of council overseeing environment management should effectively represent the interests of residents and push the Town Clerk to make an urgent decision on grass cutting,” the Trust said.

City Spokesperson Leslie Gwindi in an interview said they were in the process of cutting grass and were not complaining on issues for personnel

“We are cutting grass it’s the rainy season and grass goes fast it does not matter how prepared you are. “There are tractors all over and they are doing a good job,” Gwindi said.

There have been reports of muggings and accidents allegedly cause by overgrown grass because road signs have become invisible while pathways have developed into bushes.

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