I am sorry: Harare mayor

Business

Harare mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni yesterday used his last state of the city address to apologise for the failure and challenges bedevilling the capital, chief among them poor water provision and bad state of roads.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

Manyenyeni told various stakeholders that they had dismally failed to turn around the fortunes of the city during their five-year tenure, but placed most of the blame on the poor state of the economy and “toxic political interference” by central government.

“In the inaugural state of the city address in 2016, I shared the hope that we could leave council and the city better than when we came in. Unfortunately, we note that this will not be possible. The turnaround of this city requires almost 10 years of making tough long-deferred decisions. We had also hoped the new government will provide a conducive environment fast enough, for the reconstruction of our public institutions like your council and the economy,” he said.

“Even with one of the most knowledgeable minister in July Moyo and a new permanent secretary in George Magosvongwe, there are no new dispensation benefits yet at Harare City,” he said.

“As we yearn for a better city, we face the regular reminders that we are part of a failed nation, whose political recovery will dictate and direct our recovery. The same applies to the chaos caused by commuter omnibuses in the City of Harare. From my visit to Rwanda in March, the cleanliness or the hygiene of a city should be driven from the top, with clear effective political leadership, willpower and commitment.”

Manyenyeni claimed to have improved health delivery and council’s financial reporting system.

“While significant progress was made, especially in the central business district, the same cannot be said about the residential areas. I insist on responsibility-with-resources. Zinara (Zimbabwe National Road Administration) should ensure that we are given funding that is commensurate with the vehicle population in Harare. Without that funding the roads nightmare in Harare will continue to worsen. For your city council, the road mandate remains largely an unfunded one,” he said.

“On June 23, 2017, we signed off the 2016 accounts. We are hoping that by the end of this month, we sign off the 2017 accounts. For the first time in nearly 20 years, we were up to date and fully compliant in terms of external audits.”

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