Columbus Mabika Herald Reporter
Residents of Southerton are baying for Harare Mayor Councillor Herbert Gomba’s blood following his utterances over change of land use for a recreational park into residential stands.
They are calling for his resignation, citing gross incompetence and dereliction of duty.
Clr Gomba infuriated the residents after being asked for a comment on the pegged stands on a recreational park long Baxley Circle in Southerton, and showed his support, insisting residents should allow the future to take its course as the site was reserved for future plans.
The comments invited the wrath of residents and demanded the mayor to resign, insisting his utterances were not expected from a public officer, hence was not fit for the office.
“Those areas were left by the then planners for future use. They are open in order to accommodate future plans. This is why you see dualisation being done because land was left open in anticipation of the need to accommodate future growth. There is nothing criminal about that.
“It is called urban planning. We are now in the future,” said Clr Gomba.
Zimbabwe Combined Residents Association (ZICORA) president Mr McSteven Nyabvure expressed displeasure over the Clr Gomba’ s utterances, saying his comments portrayed him as unfit to represent the public as he does not consider will of the people.
“We are against the decision by the council to develop residential stands on a space which was (meant) for recreational purposes. Southerton is an industrial hub which requires more breathing space to accommodate gases from industries. As residents, we thought the mayor would listen to us and implement decisions based on the merit of the people’s concerns,” said Mr Nyabvure.
“The mayor is not fit for the office, he should resign and hand over the powers to competent people who do not ignore the will of the majority,” he said.
Zanu-PF shadow legislator for Southerton Constituency Cde Andrew Makahamadze described Clr Gomba as an incompetent person, calling on him to step down, adding his comments does not depict him as a public officer. He said Clr Gomba should possess capabilities of knowing the differences between high, medium and low-density and development a mechanism to implement policies based on the structure of each area. “The mayor should be an expert in terms of urban set-up, he must desist from congesting the already burned sewer and water reticulation. Southerton is different from Glen Norah or other high density suburbs, there is more congestion on infrastructure,” said Cde Makahamadze.
“We want the Zimbabwe Anti-corruption Commission to investigate this to check whether prospective beneficiaries are on a council waiting list. I’m sensing corruption on this issue,” he said.
Another concerned citizen Mrs Linley Carhill described Clr Gomba’s comments as evidence of someone out of his mind.
“The mayor is seriously losing his mind, ‘we are in the future!’ No, we are not, we have gone backwards to the stone age. My maid has to buy water and get it delivered to my house, it used to come through a sophisticated pipe system before, and the roads are broken and non-existent. There are no street lights, I might as well move to a rural area, we have not progressed, we have regressed. What does the future look like with sewage running down the road, with disease and squalor all around us, seriously he needs to wake up,” said Mrs Carhill.
The Office of the President and Cabinet in a letter dated December 14, 2018 advised the Secretary for Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to investigate the issue.
“I note from the copy of objection letter that Mr Jack raised a number of pertinent issues relating to the subject matter.
“As the office of the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Harare Metropolitan Province we wish to kindly request you, sir, to urgently investigate and furnish us with a comprehensive report on the matter,” reads part of the letter.