The Harare Residents Trust (HRT) has said Harare City Council, under the current Mayor Herbert Gomba, will not rise to expectations, but will falter on many fronts, as he is a double faced figure.
“The Mayor is a populist who is dancing a delicate political balancing act of trying to be pleasant to both the ruling party and the MDC Alliance on whose ticket he got into office,” said HRT.
The Trust has also alleged that the mayor is behind the ongoing corrupt and unprocedural land sales in Harare, adding that he has no good vision for the city, and that the future generations are set to lose as a result of such tendencies, as exhibited by Gomba.
The Trust said it has engaged some of the low-grade employees just to casually engage on service delivery whom HRT claimed to be disrespectful of the ratepayers and are unprofessional in their conduct.
“You hear them tell you that it is their time to eat, and they will not lose their jobs because their Leadership had given them the jobs,” a statement from the Trust said.
It further alleged that along Nelson Mandela Avenue up to First Street, and from George Silundika Avenue along Angwa Street to Nelson Mandela, MDC Alliance youths activists are the parking marshals who daily harass and demand parking fees from motorists.
“Yet the City of Harare claims to be short of money to pay salaries and provide essential services.
“This means that the City Parking venture is largely a money making machine benefiting senior Councillors and Council managers.
“It is strange that even to date, Honourable Peter Moyo, formerly the Chairman of the Business Committee in the City of Harare, and now Southerton Member of Parliament is allowed to go on City Parking business, workshops and other trips, yet he is no longer with the City of Harare,” alleged HRT.
According to HRT councillors and officials still hold workshops in hotels far away from Harare, and they claim personal petrol for their vehicles when the Council has a bus which can be used to ferry them. And after claiming the petrol, the officials and councillors travel in groups, saving their petrol.
On average officials and councillors are alleged to leave these workshops with amounts above $3 000, yet they daily claim that the City of Harare does not have money. Workers are owed salaries and allowances, but they keep increasing the number of workers. You begin to wonder what type of management they have.
“The City of Harare does not care about the ratepayers, but are interested in what gets into the pockets of officials and their Councillors.
“In view of the above, the Ratepayers are on their own.
“The Mayor is good at speaking the language of ratepayers, lambasting corruption, promising reforms to make the council more responsive, but in reality the victims of the corruption-busting measures are said to be people already targeted because of their non-compliance with orally given instructions to facilitate deals that favour the senior councillors.
“At least six of the 15 senior councillors who have in Council for longer periods, are reportedly the major beneficiaries of corrupt deals ongoing in the council,” said the Trust.
Meanwhile, previously Harare mayors from opposition parties have over the years been at loggerheads with the central government, with ministers who are from the ruling party interfering with local governance matters.