By MUNICIPAL REPORTER
THE Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has condemned what is said were machinations by government to replace elected Harare councillors under the pretext of uprooting corruption in the municipality through an appointed commission.
In an interview with ZimCommunity News, CHRA director Loreen Mupasiri-Sani hailed efforts by government in the fight against corruption at local authorities but discouraged the appointment of a commission arguing that it stifles principles of democracy.
“CHRA does not warrant imposing a commission as this is a serious threat to representative democracy, a move that is aimed to throw citizens to the periphery of local governance.
“Any attempt to the abuse of Section 80 (1)(a) and (b) of the Urban Councils Ac 29:15 by the Minister of Local Government through imposing a Commission to run the City of Harare is misplaced and has no place in any democratic society,” she said.
Mupasiri-Sani contended that in the past appointed Commissions did not improve service delivery but turned out to be catalysts in the stripping of Harare’s assets and fuelling grand corruption that led to total collapse of service delivery to the extent of losing lives.
Some of them include the Chanakira Commission (1999-2001) which allegedly recruited 1 235 employees and promoted people who were connected to it.
The Makwavarara Commission (2004-2006) facilitated the Zinwa takeover of Harare Municipal Water Supply that saw a total collapse of water supplies and sewer reticulation.
As a result thousands of people died of cholera during that era and she recommended the devastating Operation Murambatsvina.
The Michael Mahachi Commission of 2006 to 2007, allegedly caused council to lose vast tracts of land in a US $90 million botched Airport Road deal with Augur Investments and sewer reticulation plants collapsed.
Mupasiri-Sani also warned of a serious humanitarian catastrophe in the event that a commission takes over the local authority, especially at a time the country is under siege from the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.