Harare councillors clash over spending priorities – US$200k Mayoral cars, sports committee spark debate

by | Mar 1, 2024 | Local News, Politics | 0 comments

Harare councillors clash over spending priorities – US$200k Mayoral cars, sports committee spark debate



Darlington Gatsi


Harare councillors voiced their disapproval of the city’s spending choices, arguing that the funds should be directed towards improving essential services.


Independent councillors, Denford Ngadziore and Kudzai Kadzombe challenged the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led council’s proposal to establish a new sports committee and induction of new officials, citing concerns over the potential financial strain on the city’s budget.


The councillors argued that the additional committee and officials would likely “gobble up” funds, raising concerns that these resources could be better directed towards improving essential services in the city.


They also specifically voiced their disapproval of the new Sports Committee, expressing a belief that the city-owned sports teams it would oversee are already draining Harare’s finances and hindering service delivery efforts.


“Of late we once raised an issue to do with the sports budget. We came up with a resolution to stop funding sports citing financial cash flows. By creating the eleventh committee six months after an election again, I do not think it serves the residents’ best interests.


“I do not support issues that will be an expense to the council when there are priority areas to do with service delivery. In my view, we would have created a committee on service delivery. This is something that will benefit the residents,” said Ngadziore.


Harare city councillors faced criticism last year after it was revealed they spent a significant amount of money on an induction workshop held in Nyanga.


This revelation sparked public outrage, particularly given the city’s concurrent struggles to deliver essential services like water collection and refuse removal, issues which have been linked to a recent Cholera outbreak.


Tensions rose during Thursday’s Council meeting, with Kadzombe reportedly revealing a “plot” to purchase a mayoral vehicle exceeding US$200,000.


“As councillors we are politicians coming wherever we are coming from, but the challenge starts when we bring politics into the august house. When we say we are eight months after the elections, and we go back to spending US$24 000 for inductions. If you calculate the US$24 000 times the 12 committees are not money from our pockets but from ratepayers.


“As councillor of ward 41 which is made up of maybe 60 percent of pensioners who are struggling to eke a living having to sacrifice US$10 to pay bills to council and then you see the August house trying to splurge more money that is unnecessary,” said Kadzombe.


Harare mayor Jacob Mafume shot down the US$200 000 mayoral vehicle allegation further proposing the use of virtual platforms and Harare facilities for the induction of councillors.


“I have never been in such a car nor have I sought to purchase such an expensive apparatus. I have been ferried efficiently by the lesser value of cars. Certainly, any secondary induction can be done via Zoom. I want to assure residents that I will not sit in a $200 000 car,” said Mafume.