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We have nothing to hide – says Mayor Mafume after Mnangagwa appoints Harare Commission of Inquiry 

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By Tapiwa Svondo


Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume has said they have “nothing to hide” after President Mnangagwa regarding the recently established a Commission of Inquiry to investigate governance issues at the city council.

Members of the commission Lucia Matibenga, Khonzani Ncube, Steven Chakaipa, and Norbert Phiri chaired by retired Judge Justice Maphios Cheda were given a six-month mandate with an option to “extend for a further three months”.

The Harare Commission of Inquiry will probe procedures of management, sale or transfer or lease of council properties to private entities, financial management of revenue generated through special vehicle companies and outsourced arrangements, the convening of council meetings, compliance with procurement laws, disposal of assets and adherence to the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act.

A report of the Commission’s findings will be presented within three months of completing the investigations.

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Mafume who was speaking at the Ordinary Council meeting at Town House Harare said he believed the probe is an integral part of public office.

“We have nothing to hide, we are a public entity, we are a council of record and we are appointed by voters to enter public office, and this is exactly what public office means, it means that you can be enquired into your works by commissions, you can be enquired by parliamentary committees.

“The commission speaks for itself in terms of the mandate, it was done in terms of the commissions of the inquiry act chapter 10 of 07 where if the president may so consider and give advisable and issue a proclamation to inquire into any matter which in the opinion of the president is in the interest of public welfare.

“So the president did so deem that the inquiry to the matters of Harare will be in the interest of public welfare”, said Mafume.

Furthermore, Mafume cautioned that non-cooperation with the Commission of Inquiry will lead to criminal-related consequences.

“But we encourage that we be candid in our communications and open in our communications because there are consequences that come with not cooperating with commissions of this nature and some of the consequences can end up being criminal or labour-related”, said Mafume.

The mayor also urged the council’s secretariat, including the town clerk and the chamber secretary, to prepare the necessary documentation as they wait for the inquiry to begin.

Added Mafume, “So we noted and we urge that our secretariat, the town clerk, the chamber secretary be in the process of preparing the relevant documentation should the official communication come to us.

“So it is up to us to prepare. I am sure in due course the chairperson of the commission and the commissioners and the secretariat which happens to be the permanent secretary of local Government will then do the communications once they have done the preparatory work”.