Politicians almost crippled councils – Muguti

by | May 2, 2021 | Local News | 0 comments

Staff Writer

Political players, whose parties dominate representation in local authorities in Harare Metropolitan province were disrupting service provision for personal gain, as they sought to direct operations in councils.

Nelson Chamisa`s MDC-Alliance has the most councilors in these local authorities, most of whom have open dockets stemming from impropriety.
In an interview with Sunday Mail, Harare Provincial Development Coordinator Tafadzwa Muguti said when he got into office, politicians tried to fight him.

“I will not lie, it was a fight initially because we are trying to change the way people have been operating for a very long time.What we noticed is that there was a lot of wrong policy-making and interpretation of circulars from Government.

When I came in, I quickly noticed that our local councillors, in particular those in Harare, Chitungwiza and Epworth had turned executive.They were basically directing management and we had to try and bring in proper governance,” said Muguti.

PDC Muguti was mandated to clear the mess that had been created by opposition led councils, which had seen the country`s capital province degenerate into a lawless jungle.

Those who were benefitting from the chaos mounted a fight against his efforts. Recently, he was poisoned and the investigations are underway.

He, however, said there is progress as those who remain in councils have sobered up to honest discourse around the future of Harare Province.

“Some of them tried to politicise our engagement. I can say that through the respectable mayors and town clerks of those local authorities, we have managed to establish a good working relationship between my office and all local authorities,” he said.

According to reports, some councilors were now driving the recruitment process deciding who gets employed and who does not, in flagrant disregard of corporate governance concerns.

“We had challenges at some point, where due to the recalls, continuity might have been a problem.We had a challenge where people under investigation were promoted in councils and that affects the processes.

We also have had a challenge with some politicians who try and involve themselves in the day-to-day running of councils to protect their interests.We have been dealing with that behind the scenes and we are cleaning up,” said Muguti.

The Herald in July 2020 did an investigative story in which Nelson Chamisa and his Secretary General Charlton Hwende were involved in a land heist that saw more than 100 residential stands being distributed in an opaque manner.

In the report, Ward 16 councillor, Denford Ngadziore was said to have received 36 stands in the Westlea area where home-seekers would be made to pay in US dollars but the intrinsic value would be paid in local currency.

This shows the extent to which politics has been central to the running of local authorities, much to the detriment of service delivery.