Story by Wellington Makonese
HARARE Mayor Jacob Mafume has been exposed for politicking at the expense of service delivery after revelations that the local authority has not accounted for funds allocated for road maintenance by ZINARA in the past two years.
Potholes in most roads in the City of Harare have become impossible to pass through as a result of decades-long neglect, despite the local authority being funded by the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA).
In the midst of growing discontent by ratepayers and motorists, Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume frantically attempted to put out the fire by shifting the blame to ZINARA during a news conference this Tuesday.
“We received money from ZINARA, but it is not enough to do new roads the roads are outdated,” he said.
However, what has come to light is that out of the 92 local authorities in the country, the City of Harare has been the worst in failing to account for the funds received from ZINARA in the past two years.
Mafume’s utterances that the funds are not enough also exposed him for his ignorance of the mandate of ZINARA which is to fund road rehabilitation instead of constructing new roads.
“The statement from yesterday was unfair and unfortunate, we work very well with Harare city engineer, and sometimes we share the challenges they have, 2021 was a fair year, but they failed to pick up the funds because they hadn’t acquitted, we tried again to make it easier for them in other ways, but they haven’t been forthcoming,” said ZINARA CEO, Mr Nkosinathu Ncube.
Residents’ representatives are not amused by the Harare City Council’s neglect of duty and have castigated the city fathers for politicking at the expense of service delivery.
Chairperson Zimbabwe National Organisation of Associations and Residents Trust, Mr Shalvar Chikomba; “It’s becoming a sad song with what happened yesterday, our Mayor attempting to hide over their failures, we pay our rates and we expect a little activity if it means they received something, they are failing in roads, water and refuse all those do not require ZINARA.”
Social media has not been forgiving, citing gross incompetence by the local authority which has seen neglect of roads, water provision and refuse collection, a situation which is exposing residents to archaic diseases such as typhoid.
Information at hand reveals that the City of Harare has failed to account for the ZWL86 million disbursed for 2020 by ZINARA.
Harare City was also allocated ZWL1.3 billion in 2021, but an excess of ZWL1.1 billion is yet to be utilised.