Time Council Plays Ball or Risk the Boot

AS one drives along Second Street Extension towards Lomagundi Road right in the sharp curve, a huge pothole exists. It has been there for close to two months now.

A sign has now been placed right in the pothole to announce its presence and potential danger to motorists. The pothole has literary eaten a whole lane.

This pothole speaks volumes about the calibre of people running the affairs of our city and probably explains why today Harare is battling ancient diseases like cholera and typhoid.

There is lack of energy and zeal to deliver services at Town House from councillors to appointed officials, throwing into doubt the efficacy of the current system where people are elected to manage our city even when illiterate.

Does this system really work, especially in a situation where the one running the affairs of council does not belong to the governing party?

Events on the ground point to serious conflict where those getting directives from a political party headquarters appear not keen on pulling in the same direction with the Government, resulting in the chaos that has become Harare.

Judging by what we see daily on the ground in Harare, the problem is council.

It is neither residents, nor vendors. It is not the pirate taxi driver.

For example, since some residents survive on vending and vending is an old custom, why is council not monetising their activities by availing proper trading places for a fee?

If commuter omnibuses are a problem, why not construct terminuses for them?

If council has no money, why not allow the private sector to invest without Town House coughing a cent? There is serious mismanagement at Town House which is so entrenched and characteristic of the First Republic.

We are told council does not have foreign currency to import refuse trucks yet we see them driving expensive and luxury vehicles on the heavily-potholed roads.

We are told there is no money even to fuel the trucks yet it has become a culture at Town House to siphon money through endless out of Harare workshops where at times all councillors and officials attend further draining the little resources generated from bills and rates.

Such a council is a hindrance to President Mnangagwa’s vision of turning the country into a middle-income economy by 2030. Which investors would be attracted to pour capital in a city so unclean as Harare?

You visit other capital cities like Windhoek, Pretoria or Kigali and what you see there says a lot about those entrusted to run such cities. So clean and well managed!

This talk about foreign currency shortages is mere scapegoating. Does relocating vendors to designated trading places require foreign currency? Worse still, does Harare City Council require foreign currency to collect garbage on time?

Right now as the city battles a cholera outbreak, some suburbs are being denied water supplies and there is no communication whatsoever from council as to why taps are dry.

This is dereliction of duty which the new dispensation must not tolerate.

If they are failing to deliver services — be they councillors or appointed officials let them suffer the boot.

We urge Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo to ensure normalcy returns to Harare as quickly as he can.

That can only happen when sense is knocked into those running the affairs of our great city that they are in office to serve the people.

The era of cheap politicking and scapegoating is dead and buried with the First Republic.

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