“I will support him if he asked the police to investigate those individuals, prosecute them, convict them in a court of law and then proceed against them.
“To proceed against them in this particular manner, not only denies our democratic rights but it also disrupts the orderly management of the councils concerned.
“I do not believe that in any way a commission of three people, handpicked by the Minister can in any way improve the administration of the city.
“It is vital Mr. Speaker, that we recognise the elected representatives of our people and give them a chance to perform their duties.
“If they do not do a good job, elections are coming in 2018 and people can decide who should run the City of Chitungwiza.”
HON. CROSS: Firstly, I would like to state at the outset that I welcome the Minister’s action today. You will recall that during the previous Parliament, the MDC dismissed the entire council of Chitungwiza for corruption and we only retained one member of our party as a councilor in Chitungwiza on those grounds. Mr. Speaker, the circumstances prevailing in our cities is appalling and no city illustrates this better than Chitungwiza. In fact, in my view the situation in Chitungwiza is a crisis, similar to the crisis that prevails in Harare – [HON. ZIYAMBI: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order please. Hon. Ziyambi, you are not in a gym. Please can you listen to what the Hon. Member is saying.
HON. CROSS: Mr. Speaker Sir, the problems of the councils are very deep. They relate not just current condition, they go back to many years. The fact that Chitungwiza does not receive more than 30% of its requirements for water is a fact. It is not the responsibility of Chitungwiza Town Council. It is the problem of Harare City Council that has the obligation of supplying the City of Chitungwiza with water. If Chitungwiza had a separate water system, it could provide for its own water requirements.
In addition Mr. Speaker, Chitungwiza was designed perhaps for 200 000 people. I do not know what the population of Chitungwiza is today and I do not think the Minister does, but I will tell you that it is in excess of the population of Bulawayo. In fact, Chitungwiza is the second largest city in Zimbabwe. The problem with the City Council is that they struggle with totally inadequate resources. I think the income on a monthly basis in Chitungwiza is substantially less than a million dollars. There is no way on earth you can run a city the size of Chitungwiza with those kind of resources. On top of that, you have the chaotic situation with regards to land allocations which prevails, not just in Chitungwiza but throughout the metropolitan area of Harare.
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