Harare councillors to be sworn in Monday
Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
Councillors who won in the July 30 harmonised elections in Harare’s 46 wards will be sworn in on Monday.
The councillors will be expected to elect the next mayor for the capital and the deputy soon after the swearing-in ceremony.
Those vying for the post of mayor include Mr Ian Makone, who won in ward 18, lawyer Mr Jacob Mafume who won in Ward 17, seasoned councillor Herbert Gomba, Ward 33, councillor Kumbirai Kunashei and outgoing deputy mayor, Enock Mupamawonde.
The swearing-in of the councillors comes at a time when ratepayers are expecting the new members to deliver on their election promises.
The swearing-in ceremony will be held at Town House, with all the 46 elected councillors expected to take part.
Previous MDC-T-dominated councils struggled to deliver sound services to the residents and the onus is now on the new councillors to turnaround the fortunes of the city, which is targeting to achieve World Class City Status by 2025.
Acting chamber secretary Mr Charles Kendemiri has already issued a notice of a special council meeting whose agenda includes the swearing-in of councillors before the town clerk, election of mayor, oath of office and loyalty by the mayor and assumption of the mayoral chair.
Harare Residents Trust director Mr Precious Shumba yesterday said the incoming councillors have to be easily accessible to ratepayers, and have to consistently engage with residents in their local communities.
“The 25 percent ward retention fund should be strengthened to ensure that more funds are disbursed on time to wards, before any other deductions are made to revenues,” he said.
“Residents want the billing system in the City of Harare to be revamped.
“We are expecting that the new council fully investigates the parcelling out of council land by corrupt officials and councillors in the last council.
“They have to prioritise the provision of water, rehabilitation of the underground water pipes, and construction of primary and secondary schools in all the new settlements, including in Budiriro, Tynwald South and Sunningdale.”
Harare and Chitungwiza residents’ associations recently took Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo to court over his decision to appoint caretaker commissions to run councils on an interim basis until new councillors are sworn-in.
The associations argue that the decision is “spurious, unsustainable and in breach of the country’s Constitution” which stipulates that councillors should be sworn in by the ninth day after elections.