RESIDENTS STORM COUNCIL OFFICE
Scores of residents demonstrated at Karoi Town Council against alleged corruption, poor service delivery and abuse of council money. Residents handed over a petition with about 2000 signatures to Hurungwe District Adminstrator Ms Tsana Chirau. The residents were protesting against allocation of plots and commercial stands to councilors and council workers for prices as low as $12. The demonstration was sparked by a story published by the Herald that councilors and senior officials allocated themselves residential and commercial stands for as little as $12, which the councilors admit, but insist, is above board. The demonstration comes at a time when employees have given legal notice to go on strike over salary arrears. Workers went on a strike last month before guarantees that they would be paid their dues were made.
CHOMBO CLARIFIES VENDING LAWS
Ever since Operation Murambatsvina, only flower vendors operating along Jason Moyo Way in Africa Unity Square have been legally licensed to do business. Responding to questions from journalists last week, Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo, said vending was an integral part of any local authority. Vendors have complained that the city was failing to allocate them vending space in the CBD and that they were being harassed leaving them without a source of livelihood. But Minister Chombo clarified the matter saying Murambatsvina only dealt with illegal vending sites.’ Local authorities are allowed by law to levy vendors selling at specific places and at designated times of the day.
TANYANYIWA REMOVED FROM HOUSE ARREST
Chitungwiza town clerk Godfrey Tanyanyiwa, accused of defrauding council of US$700 000, was removed from house arrest. He was granted US$1000 bail by Harare magistrate Ms Anita Tshuma who placed him under house arrest. Under the bail conditions, Tanyanyiwa would only leave his house when reporting to Avondale Police Station or when going to court and was required to use the shortest possible route to the police station and court. However, his lawyer Mr Admire Rubaya made an application seeking the relaxation of the bail conditions, which was granted by Mr Shane Kubonera after prosecutor Mr David Magwegwe consented. Tanyanyiwa will now report once a week at Avondale Police Station.
MARONDERA MAYOR ARRESTED
Police arrested Marondera Mayor Farai Nyandoro for inciting and engaging in public violence at an MDC-T rally last Saturday. The mayor was arrested together with MDC-T Ward 8 councilor in Marondera Central Carlos Mudzongo and 6 other party supporters. Inspector Bhebhe said the MDC-T activists assaulted people during a rally at Twoboy Business Centre.’ As a result of the scuffle, 12 people sustained injuries ranging from swollen eyes and backs,’ Inspector Bhebhe said. Nyandoro was recently suspended by the MDC-T provincial executive for alleged corruption and being too close to Mashonaland East provincial Governor Aenius Chigwedere. However, Minister of Local Government Cde Ignatius Chombo said the MDC-T had no authority to remove Nyandoro from office, unless he violated the Urban Councils Act.
ZANU PF RESISTS SKILLS AUDIT
Zanu PF is resisting a skills audit for workers at Marondera Municipality-a town which has a blotted staff that is chewing more than 85% of the monthly cumulative revenue. Marondera currently has 537 workers but the town that is home to 120 000 people and only needs 150 workers according to Mayor Farai Nyandoro. Speaking at a full council meeting, Nyandoro, the mayor from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, said the previous Zanu PF led council employed at least 120 Zanu PF youths who were staffed in the middle and upper grades just before the 2008 elections. There are allegations that most of the employees who are now resisting the skills audit were actively involved in acts of violence and intimidation as Zanu PF lost its stronghold in the Mashonaland East Province. ‘When we spoke about a job evaluation, it was immediately viewed as a witch-hunt,’ said Nyandoro.
ZANU PF’S VIOLENT CHIPANGANO GANG RUNNING A ‘PARALLEL COUNCIL’ IN HARARE
The violent gang of Zanu PF youths known as Chipangano have reportedly taken over many council properties in Harare and are now collecting huge sums of money illegally from vendors and minibus drivers. According to Newsday newspaper, Chipangano is practically running a ‘parallel council’. It has now been reported that Chipangano has overtaken Harare’s City Council and are illegally collecting large sums of money from revenue sources that the council has authority over. A council official reportedly admitted to paying Chipangano for water in buildings they had illegally taken over. The gang’s grip on Harare’s Mbare high density suburb and the violence they unleashed on residents last year, caused the influential Bill Gates Foundation to suspend a development project they were funding, which would have helped the entire community.
ZIMBABWE: MWONZORA SUED FOR NON PAYMENT OF BILLS
MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora is being sued for vacating a house he was renting in Mabelreign, Harare, without clearing electricity and water bills amounting to US$4 820,49. The property owner Mr Mudiwa Munyikwa, who has since received a final warning for disconnection from ZESA over the debt, has approached the court seeking an order compelling the legislator to pay. He is also applying for the politician to pay the water bill to Harare City Council before disconnections of water or institution of legal proceedings.
ZANU PF CHINHOYI ‘TOP SIX’ TERROR GROUP RESURFACES
Chinhoyi-Zanu PF has reportedly revived its terror campaign groups countrywide ahead of general elections which the party leader President Mugabe wants held this year. Some of the party’s infamous militia groups include ‘Chipangano’ in Harare, ‘Top Six’ in Chinhoyi and ‘Jochomondo’ in Hurungwe. Pardon Karengesha from Kasonde village in Kenzamba said the militia recently beat up his younger brother after he refused to buy them beer. Recently, Harare City Council confirmed Chipangano had virtually taken over most council operations, collecting and pocketing rentals from individuals leasing the local authority’s properties in Mbare and the city center.
WORLD WATER DAY-NOTHING TO CELEBRATE ABOUT
The local world water day celebrations in Masvingo came at a time when there is little worth celebrating about the provision and availability of clean safe drinking water in Zimbabwe, particularly in urban areas. However, the celebrations came against the backdrop of renewed health fears from people drinking contaminated water, rising levels of water pollution and general limited access to safe clean drinking water countrywide. Other long term threats are coming from limited financial spending on water infrastructure, high treatment costs, as well as from climate change, which has resulted in frequent droughts versus greater water demand from an expanding population, crops and animals. 98% of those without an improved drinking water source were people living in rural areas with only 28% of the rural population using drinking water appropriately treated at household level. Typhoid is spreading freely in Harare, and despite efforts by authorities to control it, the water-borne disease has since managed to snuff out no less than 10 lives. Health officials have even banned the people from eating and selling fish from Lake Chivero, Harare’s main water source, which is quickly being reduced to a pond of sewage due to rampant pollution. The Harare City Council, guilty also of polluting its own water bodies, says it is too broke to provide clean water citing high treatment costs, according to Press reports.
PM TSVANGIRAI URGES GOV’T COLLEAGUES TO PAY POWER BILLS AS OUTAGES CONTINUE
(VOICE OF AMERICA)
PM Morgan Tsvangirai said that service delivery is being hampered in many areas in the country because senior officials are not paying their dues. He urged lawmakers, cabinet ministers and senior government officials who owe power utility ZESA to pay up. He said this is plunging the parastatals into a worse financial situation and therefore more power blackouts, affecting business and ordinary people. He said inter-parastatal debt has risen to more than $600 million and it is now affecting the operations of state companies. Asked why the government is not instituting preferential treatment to former liberation war fighters to gain shares in companies through the controversial indigenization law, the Prime Minister said he believed in the broad-based empowerment of the population.
ZESA BILL SCAM: A MIRROR ON THE ABUSE OF POWER
Detailed breakdowns of top government officials’ unpaid electricity bills roughly total a stunning US$2, 47 million as at December 31 2011. According to media reports, most of the debts are from farms and estates owned by President Robert Mugabe, his wife Grace and close political allies, including ministers and security service chiefs. Apart from Mugabe and his family, there are many bigwigs currently not paying their electricity bills, plunging the struggling Zest deeper into dire straits.
FEMALES DEMAND 50-50 REPRESENTATION
Women are demanding political parties to reserve half the number of council seats for them as part of measures to achieve the 50-50 representation by 2015. Addressing the Zimbabwe Local Government and Gender Justice Summit and Awards summit, Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo, said 18% of elected urban councilors were women. Minster Chombo reiterated that from an integrity stand point women had proved to be less corrupt than their male counterparts. He said Kwekwe had scored a first by having the first woman town clerk in Zimbabwe. He said political violence should be eliminated to encourage women to participate.
ZANU PF RECONNECTS WATER ILLEGALLY
Zanu PF officials barred Bulawayo City Council officials from disconnecting water at their party’s provincial headquarters at Davies Hall over an unpaid $14 000. Council spokesperson Nesisa Mpofu confirmed the incident, adding three weeks ago party officials illegally reconnected water supplies after they were cut off over the same bill. The party was fined $1500, but the local authority’s technicians failed to reverse the illegal reconnection after its technicians were barred from entering the premises. Meanwhile, Mpofu said Zanu PF had since made an initial payment towards settling the bill but declined to disclose the amount. ‘Bulawayo City Council encourages residents and companies to desist from illegal connection of water.
MAYORS SLAM CHOMBO
MDC-T mayors and councilors slammed Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo for disrupting their operations and sabotaging their work in a partisan bid to discredit their party ahead of elections. Harare town clerk Mahachi said Chombo vetoed the council’s plan to hire additional workers to improve the city’s service delivery, citing a depleted budget. Gwanda mayor Lionel De Necker complained about polarization and meddling by the Minister. ‘Disruption is from all corners; from the Minister and some employees who are loyal to Zanu PF. These people take orders from outside resulting in a direct confrontation and councils are heading for disaster if this trend is not abated, ‘he said.
ZIMBABWE: CFI APPEALS AGAINST ESTATE ACQUISITION
CFI Holdings appealed against the acquisition of parts of Glenara Estates that lie on the boarders of Mashonaland central and west provinces following indications that the Ministry of Local Government was acquiring 1300 hectares from the CFI owned Glenara Estates for residential and farming purposes. Government intends to acquire 900 ha from Glenara Estates Bandauch section and 400 from Tsikwi section, which is in Mashonaland West. This has however caused an outcry from CFI which said the move will adversely affect its operations. ‘This exercise is going to affect the production of Victoria Foods and Agrifoods as business units since they are inter-linked to the farm.Post published in: News