Lovemore Meya Herald Correspondent
Chaos reigned supreme yesterday at Chitungwiza Municipality head office as irate residents stormed the premises demanding the ouster of town clerk, Mr George Makunde and his management. They allege gross incompetence. The placard waving demonstrators accused management of embezzling funds and demanded the reinstatement of director of urban planning, Mr Conrad Muchesa.
They also demanded the ouster of the human resources manager, Mrs Mary Mukonyora.
Riot police had to intervene as council workers were locked in offices.
The demonstrators also blocked some employees from entering their offices.
Zanu-PF secretary for administration for Harare Province, Cde Tawanda Kadengu accused council of failing to deliver services to residents of Chitungwiza.
“We are disturbed by how council is being run,” said Kadengu.
“We asked them to regularise stands and generate revenue, but nothing has been done. We agreed with the commission that after regularisation council may be able to pay workers’ salaries and settle debts.
“The commission toured our sites promising to regularise them and nothing has been done yet. This is what has angered us.”
Steward Masvikorera of St Mary’s said: “Makunde and his management are to blame for everything happening at council. They are always laying blame on former town clerk Tanyanyiwa to have caused all these problems. The truth is they have been stealing from council.
“Embezzlement of council funds has become the order of the day through secret accounts and paying each other hefty packages. All the management is not from Chitungwiza and must go,” he said.
Another resident, only identified as Cde Nadia, said Chitungwiza was a health time bomb due to lack of basic services.
“No service delivery is being rendered as everything is grounded. Everything was attached because council is reeling from huge debts owed to many debtors.”
Chitungwiza Municipality acting public relations officer Mr Aaron Mhonyera said the residents were misbehaving.
“These people should know what is really happening on the ground and their reason of demonstrating holds no water,” said Mr Mhonyera.
“They are being misinformed by whoever is telling them, but the truth of the matter is that the current management inherited these problems from a previous council before they assumed office in 2013.
“The attachment of property by Nissam (Pvt) Ltd was too harsh for us. Nissam should have reasoned with us because this is going to be a cause for concern in terms of service delivery in the event that there is an epidemic.”
He said residents were also to blame as they wanted to stay for free.
“Residents should be responsible and know that for proper service delivery to be effected they must pay their bills.”
Caretaker commission chairperson Mr Madzudzo Pawadyira said it was all about housing stands.
“The youths have submitted their plans to us and we have since forwarded them to the department of physical planning department. After going through them, the department will advise the Minister for determination.”