Residents must vote wisely to end urban woes

the herald

Dialogue on the development of Lovemore Chikova

It has since become clear to even the staunchest opposition supporter that the ambition to develop urban areas to desired levels cannot be achieved with opposition councillors.

Harare, with its ambitions to become a world-class city by 2025, is a good case study in this.

On paper, there is all the good in Harare’s development plans, but it is in practice that the problem has become insurmountable.

And therein lies the problem: the blatant failure of opposition advisers to follow through on their words and ambitious plans.

In short, the opposition councilors have failed to develop Harare in the last 20 years they have ruled, and voting for them in the upcoming by-elections and harmonized elections will be an exercise in futility.

Today, those charged with running Harare reek of corruption, with councilors and managers carving up land for their cronies and for profit.

This is why the inhabitants no longer have any reason to hold them back in the by-elections next month and possibly the harmonized elections of 2023.

The opposition has since demonstrated that they have no residents at heart, as shown by the actions of city officials regarding the poor delivery of services.

They failed to attract significant investment to the city, instead leaving everything to the central government to intervene.

The first question residents, who pay their rates religiously, should ask themselves is: where is our money going?

The city council cannot even fulfill most of its obligations like garbage collection, street cleaning and policing the central business district.

On the occasion of the by-elections of March 26, the inhabitants will be confronted with the duty of making the right choices to inject new ideas into the management of the affairs of the city.

It would be madness for them to keep opposition councilors who have already demonstrated that they do not believe in providing services to the public.

Of all the political parties that will contest the by-elections, it is Zanu PF that has done a lot to show that the party cares about the people.

We have seen the party intervene on the maintenance of the roads by giving a facelift to the main arteries which connect the city center to the various suburbs.

stinking corruption

Harare City Council under opposition has simply become the most corrupt council in the country.

Instead of focusing on service delivery, councilors and management are busy lining their pockets through dodgy deals, mainly in land allocation.

There are no proper land administration systems in place, and this is a deliberate move to ensure councilors can exploit the loophole to continue their corrupt activities.

This has resulted in the institution of anarchic land allocation that has spawned monsters of corruption among opposition councilors and managers.

When opposition councilors took office 20 years ago, they ignored the existing land database, opening up land allocation to corruption since anyone could claim land and start carving it up .

Fake land use and development plans began to be drafted, some illegally altering land use to the detriment of residents.

Land set aside as wetlands and for recreational purposes was now turned into residential and commercial settlements that councilors and officials sold at exorbitant prices to unsuspecting land seekers.

As a result, many councilors and officials have been arrested after extensive investigations by the authorities and their cases are still pending in court.

That is why residents should make wise choices in the upcoming by-elections next month and harmonized elections in 2023.

While their cases are still pending in court, residents should treat these councilors like criminals because their names are associated with corruption.

The death of service delivery

Why Harare councilors can’t solve such a simple task as collecting rubbish leaves residents wondering about the effectiveness of holding them back in the next election.

Garbage collection and city cleaning is one of the core deliverable expectations of a city council.

But that simple task seems to have eluded opposition councilors who don’t seem to care about keeping the city clean.

Let’s face the reality, Harare is a very small city in terms of land area compared to many other cities where you don’t see garbage everywhere.

Why Harare is so dirty baffles everyone.

What is clear is that councilors have given up picking up litter, making it clear that they are no longer fit to continue presiding over council business.

While failed city councilors and managers take every opportunity to explain to anyone who will listen that they are aiming for world-class status by 2025, they seem oblivious to the fact that uncollected garbage is degrading the status of the city.

Trash doesn’t become a “mountain” overnight, which means city business officials are watching as the trash gathers.

When it comes to water supply, city councilors have for a long time completely failed to provide clean drinking water to residents.

They have reduced the city’s ability to provide an adequate and reliable water supply, causing residents to turn to unreliable sources that put them at risk of disease.

Residents have read from time to time about the penchant of city councilors and managers for corrupt activities when it comes to funds for improving water supplies.

Harare is run by people who want to focus on enriching themselves instead of making life easier for residents.

Residents are aware that city officials have been talking for years about fixing the problems at the Morton Jaffray water plant, but they still have to deal with days without running water.

These are the same councilors and officials who take every opportunity to talk about fixing Harare’s sewers, but residents are still struggling with flowing rivers of sewage.

This has been attributed to the intermittent outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and typhoid in the city, for which those who run the city’s affairs are to be blamed.

The sewer blasts are the result of years of neglect by opposition councilors who seem to console themselves by taking residents for granted.

Driving on Harare’s roads has become a nightmare lately, with neglect, particularly in the western suburbs, reaching alarming levels.

Councilors seem to lack the capacity to order officials to pay attention to the deterioration of road infrastructure.

Tarred roads are rapidly disappearing under the watch of city councillors, with potholes multiplying daily.

At one point, it was widely reported that the councilors owned commuter buses, hence the promotion of lawlessness on the city roads, with the council doing nothing to stop this.

Now that suburban omnibuses have been banned, the roads have been taken over by small vehicles driven by people who are not concerned with their safety and the safety of others on the road.

Yet councilors watch through their bedroom windows at Town House as the drivers of these vehicles continue to operate as the law to themselves.

Residents are aware that if city officials want to put an end to this threat, they can do so within days.

But they choose to promote anarchy and congestion in the business center because of their inaction.

When opposition councilors took control of Harare’s affairs, they threw away good corporate governance, resulting in the chaos that characterizes the city today.

There are double salary payments that have been going on at the board for almost two years now.

It started when city officials suspended a significant number of workers, including some senior executives, and then appointed others on an interim basis.

Suspended individuals still receive their salary and benefits, while those in acting roles receive the same benefits.

That the management of Harare is chaotic is in fact an understatement, it is dysfunctional.

Residents cannot continue in such an untenable situation.

The good news is that they have an opportunity to end this madness by eliminating opposition councilors in the March 26 by-elections and harmonized elections next year.

At present, Zanu PF is the only party with a tried and tested ability to solve the problems plaguing Harare, almost all created by opposition councilors and their leadership.

About Kevin Strickland

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