Zimbabwe: Knives Out for Masunda

KNIVES are out for Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda over the decay in the capital city's infrastructure and failure by the city fathers to provide essential services such as safe drinking water.

Insiders at Town House, the city's administrative nerve centre, say there were behind-the-scenes manoeuvres by civil society organisations to force Ma-sunda out of Town House before the next elections.

The Harare City Council has come under fire from residents for failing to collect garbage, erratic water supplies, shambolic street lighting system, corruption in the allocation of stands and nepotism.

Potholes are now a permanent feature on council roads and many motorists have had their vehicles damaged as a result.

Council is also being accused of hiding tender information from residents.

The Harare Residents Trust (HRT) has been the first to fire a salvo, saying its members no longer have confidence in Masunda. The trust said the Mayor was not a team player but a divisive character who personalises council business.

"He takes all the councillors as useless, therefore relies solely on the technocrats who are sabotaging council policy decisions, and making the councillors appear very incompetent," said the HRT yesterday.

"The current situation requi-res a robust character that can provide guidance to councillors in a progressive manner, not the Masunda approach of making councillors appear like school kids where he dangles foreign trips and other such regional trips as bait to make them submit to his authority."

Last week, suspended Harare councillor warship Dumba claimed there was a political hand in the deteriorating situation in the capital city.

He said some of the directives issued by the Local Government Ministry, which is under a ZANU-PF minister were pulling the city down and this was meant to ensure that the country goes for polls later this year, with residents thinking that the Movement for Democratic Change-led council had failed.

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