Chombo order ignites demo

HARARE - Mbare residents besieged the Rowan Martin office last weekend demanding that the Harare City Council implement a ministerial directive to write-off water bills.

Hundreds besieged the offices demanding to know when their bills will be slashed after noting that they have not yet been written off as directed by Ignatius Chombo, the minister of Local Government and Urban Council.

Police had to be called in to maintain peace and order.

Harare City Council is owed over $400 million in unpaid dues by the residents.

Muchadeyi Masunda, Harare mayor said Chombo’s directive was illegal.

He said council was yet to receive the directive to write-off the debt, warning the decree had disastrous consequences to the operations of the council.

“I gather there are some misguided and overzealous loose cannons who were picketing at the Harare City Council revenue collection centres at Rowan Martin Building, Old Mutual House and district offices of certain high density areas dissuading bonafide ratepayers from paying their dues,” Masunda said.

“The police should arrest the individuals concerned and let the law take its course against them.” He said Chombo’s directive was irrational. 

“The long and short of it all is that the livelihoods of a hub of 4,5 million within greater Harare will be put at grave risk if Chombo’s directive is not swiftly nipped in the bud,” said Masunda.

“The concerned residents should be told not waste their time and breath as Chombo’s directive does not have locus standi to issue the purported directive as Section 303 of  the Urban Councils Act  does not empower him to do so.

“The prerogative to do so solely belongs to a duly constituted city council and no one else, including president Robert Mugabe, Prime Morgan Tsvangirai or Chombo. The purported directive is not only unlawful but also grossly unreasonable and irrational.”

During the presidential campaign rally, Mugabe has been using Chombo’s directive as one of the key talking points in his address to the electorate in a move widely viewed as vote buying.    


Comments (10)

How long will a business remain in business if it keeps writing off monies owed??. I question the sanity of the person who gives directives like this one! Are we here to benefit as individuals only or are we here to improve our country and make it a better place for everyone or just the chosen few???

basic Business practice - 30 July 2013

Where was Chombo for the last 33 yrs who want to cut rates now.

STUDENT - 30 July 2013

Somebody exlain to me is Masunda still the mayor, if not, in what capacity was he speaking??

gutter poet - 30 July 2013

@ gutter poet. Masunda is and will still be the Mayor until another one has been elected, I the same way that Mugabe is still the President. got it.

Zvichapera Chete - 30 July 2013

I am just waiting for them to write off the accounts and will take them to task to refund me for all the months that I have paid. MIRAI MUONE, Constitutional Court ndiri kuuya ko

shuus24 - 30 July 2013

@Zvichapera- Mugabe and Tsvangirai are creatures of the GPA, Masunda is not. I stand corrected. I thought the Town Clerk and the provincial adminstrator were currently running the affairs of Harare City..Clarify

gutter poet - 30 July 2013

Masunda is no longer the mayor. All the councils and parliament were legally dissolved on 27 June 2013. The executive is what is still in office and is governing the country. Chombo is right. Section 303 of the Urban Councils Act empowers the Minister to act. Masunda is lying when he says that the directive has not yet been received by the City. A written circular was sent to all local authorities on 23 July 2013. Its time to try and take out the trash.

Dr. T. I. Kasu - 30 July 2013

Those celebreting for not paying the bills should brace for water shortages ,refuse not being collected ,cholera and when all this happens were is the honourable minister going to be ,THE ANSWER AT ZANU PF HEADQUATERS counting the seats that they would have won and lost ,MIND you there is nothing for MAHALA that is how they work ,they use you and flush you down the toilet ,HARARE CITY COUNCIL IS GOING TO DECLARE BANK RUPCY WATCH THE SPACE

cashtalk - 30 July 2013

@Cashtalk- Of course many people can see through Chombo's addled nonsense but that does not say the Harare city is squeaky clean. I think they should use this opportunity availed by the minister to clean house..Whoever is in charge of the billing department at the city should either resign or be fired..How do you convert zimdollars by a rate which nobody used in 2009 and then continue billing for services which you do not provide..Where else in the world does this happen?

gutter poet - 30 July 2013

There was a report on about some ministers owing ZESA and the Harare Council. Chombo's directive is meant to void what these ministers owe to the public companies. What a smelly directive!

Qabi - 30 July 2013

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.