Town Clerk reprimanded

HARARE - Harare Town Clerk Tendai Mahachi has come under fire for writing a letter without council’s approval stopping construction of a $1,2 million service station and food court in Mbare.

Councillors who attended Tuesday’s full council meeting rounded on Mahachi, charging that he was not supposed to issue the directive to suspend construction of the complex without council or the mayor’s approval.

The project, which has also faced resistance from shadowy Zanu PF militia group Chipangano, is set to employ 45 people and change the face of the populous ghetto.

Mbare Ward 3 councillor Friday Muleya expressed displeasure over Mahachi’s decision, which he said misrepresented council’s position.

Harare mayor Muchadei Masunda chaired the council meeting.

“The disturbing thing is that the town clerk writes a letter saying the project should stop instead of the Environment Management Agency. Now it is you (Masunda) again saying it should go ahead.

“In future he should inform you first before writing anything to avoid the picture that we are fighting or not organised,” said Muleya to the applause of the house.

Mashamhanda stopped construction after getting the town clerk’s decree, which also came amid a sustained harassment campaign by the Mbare-based Chipangano militia.

The construction site is next to Matapi Police Station and is being built by Mashwede Diesel owned by property developer Alex Mashamhanda.

The company had pumped over half a million dollars into the project before it was arbitrarily ordered to suspend construction.

Masunda concurred that the town clerk should have conferred with him before writing the letter.
 
“The point raised is a good point. If we pass a resolution, that resolution needs to be implemented without fear or favour. But if something that needs to be addressed comes up past the resolution, we should do so without causing unnecessary fear,” said Masunda.

Council said it will await EMA’s environment impact assessment. Council also resolved that the issue be resolved through dialogue, outside courts.

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