New Zimbabwe (London)

21 February 2014

Zimbabwe: Gwindi Award Angers Harare Residents

RESIDENTS lobby group, the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA), has reacted angrily to a decision by the Council awarded "best sports administrator in 2013" award to spokesperson Leslie Gwindi.

Gwindi serves as chairperson of Premier Soccer League club Harare City whose franchise is owned by the local authority.

In a statement Thursday CHRA said residents had never been upraised on the gains being accrued from the football club.

"While we don't have anything against Gwindi or his team, our City fathers seem to miss the point of prioritisation as the club seems to be thriving on rate payer's money.

"We have never been informed on the rate of return of investment to the City from this project. Harare City F.C is a Council project which recently got premiership promotion and has been doing very good," the group said.

Harare has grappled with crippling water shortages for over a decade and in 2008 a Cholera outbreak resulted in the death of 4,000 people.

The city's roads are also dilapidated while the sewer system has broken down to the extent that raw sewerage has become a common sight.

"CHRA understands that the Council has been budgeting $1.6 million annually for the operations of football club which obviously suffocates the service delivery revenue budget," the residents group said.

"It boggles the mind how the Council affords to spend so much when there are instances where some of its workers have gone without pay.

"We implore the leadership at Town House to review this arrangement to address the needs and interest of residents considering the state of social service delivery."

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