By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
04 January 2014
The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) on Tuesday lambasted Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo for his ‘unwanted interference’ with the affairs of the city council.
The association warned the Minister to back off or residents will take to the streets for peaceful protests and a massive rates boycott.
CHRA chairperson Simbarashe Moyo told journalists in Harare that Chombo is complicit in underhand dealings and scandals that continue to affect service delivery in Harare.
Residents in the capital have been irked by Chombo’s decision to order Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni to rescind his earlier decision to suspend Town Clerk, Tendai Mahachi, for his failure to comply with a directive to provide a salary schedule for council’s top management.
‘A big man like Chombo is feeding off public funds that should otherwise be used to develop the social service delivery in Harare. It is a matter of public record that Chombo has been accused of abusing his authority to acquire large pieces of land from the city of Harare,’ said Moyo.
He warned that the residents will not sit by and watch the plunder of public resources to satisfy the unsuitable appetite of a few managers who are gobbling up over $500,000 at the expense of social services.
Moyo continued; ‘These salaries are not only obscene but show we live in a sick society where public officials are appointed on party political lines and allowed to abuse their positions with impunity.’
CHRA vowed to put an end to all the corruption by demanding a statement that details the salaries and packages of the top management within 7 days, as it was in the public interest for the figures to be known publicly.
‘The Mayor and councillors must insist on the successful implementation of investigations of the issue of salaries at Town House and the Local Government Minister must ensure, within a reasonable timeframe, produce a revised and modest salary bill for top management,’
If these demands are not met CHRA said they will call for a massive rates boycott and file an urgent High Court application to block the payment of public officials until the matter has been resolved
‘We will also mobilise for peaceful protests until these demands are met,’ said Moyo.