Wednesday, 9 September 2020

HARARE RIDDLED WITH CORRUPTION, SAYS NEW MAYOR


In a veiled admission of failure, Harare’s new Mayor Councillor Jacob Mafume said the capital was behind in terms of development and was riddled with corruption.

The MDC has been in charge of Harare since 2000, but the city is in a deplorable state regarding refuse collection, water provision and road network.

Clr Mafume suggested Harare should have been using digital platforms to improve service delivery, but it remained stuck in traditional methods.

In an interview with Zimpapers Television Network (ZTN) on Monday, Clr Mafume said: “Harare has lost a number of decades in terms of being an interactive and a digital city. It is in many ways still based on paper and analogue; what we need is a city that is able to talk to its residents and the residents talk to it on a digital platform. 

“There are many things that should happen. We are still having people queuing to pay their rates and bills at a central point, that should not be happening in this century. This should be done on a digital interface.

“We are still having difficulties for services being reported, burst pipes still being reported on an analogue basis (when) they should be done by GPS and so forth.”

Clr Mafume said there were no digital frameworks to identify even the mapping of properties in Harare, and council relied on “management by walking”, which he said “should not be the way it should be”.

“We should have interactive systems, the streets should talk to you, street lights should talk to you, your water should talk to you,” he said. 

Asked about his top priorities to revive service delivery, Clr Mafume did not mince his words, saying bickering in the opposition, which led to the recall of fellow councillors, including former mayor Herbert Gomba were partly to blame for poor services.

“Politics has interfered, remember the last mayor was taken out not because of any other thing except the politics,” he said.

Clr Mafume was non-committal on his stance against the deep-rooted corruption in council.

He said the entire country was grappling with corruption, adding that there should be no witch-hunting in the fight against the scourge.

Clr Mafume proposed that corruption could be reduced by minimising human interaction by way of automating systems.

On land scandals, he said the procedures were there and should be followed, particularly that any available pieces of land be advertised. 

“I can tell you that we advertised the Budiriro CABS Scheme and people took it and there are still some pieces of the Budiriro Scheme that are still to be taken up because it’s transparent and the prices are there,” he said.

“We have got how you obtain it and so forth and that is the standard. We need to produce market value and rent-seeking behaviour comes when something is being sold for less than the market value and that creates a problem.” Herald

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