14 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Lone Demo Earns Man Mayor's Invite

A Harare man yesterday staged a one-man demonstration against wanton trenching by the City of Harare and potholes along Sam Nujoma Extension. Mr McNorman Chitongo spent part of the day "fishing" from a trench that has been left unattended for a year. He had erected a banner inscribed "Masunda Mayoral Fish Pond, First Anniversary".

Harare Mayor Mr Muchadeyi Masunda, however, expressed ignorance of such a trench even though he claimed frequently using the same road. Mr Chitongo said he drove along Sam Nujoma everyday and had reported the dangerous trench, which does not have warning signs, to the council since last year.

"Since March 13, 2012, I have been reporting about this dangerous trench and potholes once every month to the local authority, but nothing has been done despite them having dug it," said Mr Chitongo.

Mr Chitongo had placed a red plastic cone to warn motorists driving along the road. "During the next elections, we want Mr Masunda to be voted the mayor of Kariba where there is a lot of fishing, as he is good at creating fish ponds along our roads," said Mr Chitongo.

Motorists jostled to take photos of Mr Chitongo and hailed him for his one man demonstration.

Mr Masunda said it was his first time to hear such a complaint, as he used Sam Nujoma Street frequently and had not seen anything untoward.

"However, tomorrow (today) I am going to send the engineering team so that they attend to this problem that has been brought to our attention by this melodramatic demo," said Mr Masunda.

"I would also like to extended my heartfelt invitation to the 'fisherman' Mr Chitongo to come to Town House and discuss the issue with me personally over a cup of tea."

Mr Masunda admitted that rains had caused considerable damage to the roads and the local authority had since prioritised repair of the city's trunk roads.

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