Chitungwiza Residents raise concerns with Minister Chombo

RESIDENTS of Chitungwiza have expressed serious doubts on the sincerity of the Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Ignatius Chombo in dealing with the scourge of corruption among councillors and officials, saying his actions smacked of political hypocrisy.

Chombo
Chombo

The Chitungwiza Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (CHIRRA) Chairman Mr Arthur Taderera said while they applauded the Minister for his stance on corruption, the general feeling among the residents was that the Minister was paying lip service to the crisis of corruption and mismanagement in Chitungwiza Municipality.

Taderera said: “The appointment of special interest councillors for the residents is just reappointment of electoral rejects, previous employees of council who can only perpetuate rather than end corruption and other partisan individuals who have nothing new to offer the electorate.”

Despite identifying the major culprits in the collapse of service provision in the city, and the continued stripping of assets, CHIRRA says the Minister has still not acted decisively on the Town Clerk Mr Godfrey Tanyanyiwa, who has previously been suspended but subsequently reinstated under unclear circumstances. Lately Tanyanyiwa was reportedly arrested but residents are doubtful this would herald a new era of transparent and accountable city governance.

He said the replacement of elected councillors with people perceived and known to belong to Zanu PF who come in as special interest councillors is wrong as it politicises local government, in particular the Chitungwiza City Council.

CHIRRA denounced the appointment of special interest councillors who serve the Minister and not the residents of Chitungwiza. To address this anomaly in the Urban Councils’ Act (Chapter 29:15), the legislation governing the administration of local authorities, CHIRRA came up with the following recommendations;

• Remove all special interest councillors

• Suspension of the Town Clerk pending investigation as he is central to council operations.

• Residents should be allowed to appoint their own independent investigation/audit into Council affairs.

• A thorough investigation into allegations of corruption against councillors and officials especially around the allocation of residential and commercial stands.

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