Improved relations between MDC-run Harare City and gvt to benefit residents

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By Anna Chibamu

THE cordial working relationship between Harare’s MDC dominated council and the Zanu PF government headed by Local Government Minister, July Moyo has helped stabilise service delivery in the capital, Town Clerk Hosiah Chisango has said.

Chisango said this when he appeared on New’s current affairs programme The Agenda on Monday. After years of acrimony Harare’s current city fathers headed by Mayor Herbert Gomba seems to have found a working formula with Moyo for the benefit of residents according to Chisango.

“The relationship we have with government is so far the best in years. Ministers are ready to meet us anytime, we request for such and the cordial relations have seen positive strides in terms of development for the city.

“On policing issues, we have had successes and so far so good. Ministers are supportive of initiatives we are carrying out,” said Chisango.

Successive Local Government Ministers in the past have had a deeply acrimonious relationship with Harare councils especially after the turn of the century when the opposition took over running council. The MDC has blamed its failure to deliver services on interference from central government.

However, Zanu PF has also accused MDC officials of corruption and mismanagement.

Chisango added that with the improvement of the relations, mobilisation of resources had become easier as government is funding some council projects including the Public Sector Investments Programme (PSIP).

“While the funds in these areas are still low but the positive is that something is happening and we are working with central government,” he said.

According to the Town Clerk, the city has embarked on several projects that include beautifying the city, road rehabilitation with the help from Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (Zinara) with 50km having been rehabilitated thus far.

Chisango however, warned rate payers who owe the council to make payment plans and clear debts.

He highlighted that government institutions and residents owe the City RTGS$500 million whist residents owe almost RTGS$800 million and this had contributed in delays to carry out necessary projects.