- Last Updated on 04 October 2012
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The Combined Harare Resident's Association (CHRA) has written to the Prime Minister of the republic of Zimbabwe and Cabinet seeking an injunction on the probe team that has been set by the Minister of Local Government rural and Urban Development, I. Chombo. The probe team has been set to look into the issue and distribution of residential stands in Budiriro. The request of an interdict, is premised on the fact that cabinet knew all along that there was a housing project that was set to benefit residents of Budiriro and nothing was ever said about Mayor Muchadei Masunda's conflict of interest considering that he chair's the Old Mutual board. To that end, CHRA believes that the Minister has got a fish to fry with the Mayor judging by his infamous history of suspending elected councilors and Mayors. Our fears have been worsened by the Minister's sentiments that he might also fire 30 Councilors as well. We are well aware as an Association that ordinary people will stand to lose as BIG MEN like Chombo interfere with projects meant to benefit them.
In January 2011, we requested the Mayor of Harare to act on the issue of the housing challenges that the City is facing considering that then, the City of Harare's housing backlog was pregnant with more than 500 000 people waiting to be allocated a stand each. This was inspired by the government's failure to deal with the aftermath of operation Murambatsvina which saw thousands of people being displaced. To that end, many urban dwellers are of no fixed aboard because of the housing crisis that is facing the City and the unavailability of land for which the City can develop. The Bill and Melinda gates foundation and the CABS deal brought hope to the homeless majority in the City which meant that in Budiriro alone; at least 3000 residents were set to benefit from this arrangement. Predictably, last week the Minister put to a halt the construction of those 3000 households in Budiriro which meant more suffering for the homeless in
Budiriro. In his argument, the Minister advised that the City should develop its own stands and not other external stakeholders. Surprisingly, he is the same Minister who is on record of saying that the City does not have enough capacity to deal with a plethora of service issues, a point which he has always used to justify his placing of special interest councilors.
CHRA would like to urge the Minister of Local government Rural and Urban development to first deal with his image in terms of transparency and accountability. To date, the Minister has not gone public either to declare his asserts and how he got them. We remain concerned by the allegations raised against him in the land audit report released in 2010 by the Warship Dumba led committee on all land deals in Harare which heavily implicated him and the well known property magnet Phillip Chiyangwa. As residents we are not convinced that the Minister's actions have anything to do with the interests of residents hence we have written to the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Dr Morgan Richard Tsvangirai and the Cabinet to intervene. We are in full support of our Mayor since he has done a lot in the best of his ability to improve social service delivery in Harare.
"The rules are simple: they lie to us, we know they're lying, they know we know they're lying, but they keep lying to us, and we keep pretending to believe them. €
€• Elena Gorokhova, A Mountain of Crumbs: A Memoir