Local Government Minister Savior Kasukuwere has likened corrupt councilors to fathers who abuse or rape their children because they are abusing funds and stifling development.
He said most of the land barons in Harare were in fact councillors and he would soon be naming them.
“The land barons who are distributing pieces of land are the councillors; they are creating these barons. We have noted that most of these culprits are councillors from the MDC-T,” he said.
“As a government, we had planned to have a proper housing delivery programme accompanied by a transparent land and stands allocation programme. Unfortunately, the council has promoted these illegal land barons by allocating lands and in appropriate places. I will bring up this issue next week when I bring the discussion in Parliament. There is a lot of corruption in the council, especially in MDC-T. I would like to hold talks with the people who were talking about this.”
One legislator interjected: “Imi maoko enyu akachena here?”
Most of the major cities are being run by MDC-T leading to accusations that the ZANU-PF government is trying t dislodge them.
Q & A:
*MRS. THEMBANI: Thank you Madam Speaker. I am directing my question to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. We have a problem with regards to the drainage system within the City of Harare. There were floods in the past rainy season and vehicles could not pass some of these flooded roads. The rainy season is upon us but nothing is being done to de-silt these drainages. May the Minister please tell us what plans the City Council has in de-silting and clearing these drainages.
*THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (MR. KASUKUWERE): Thank you Madam Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to respond on the position regarding the drainage systems which lead to flooding of roads. As the hon. member has stated, roads in the City of Harare were flooded and that was a big problem but we are holding talks with the City of Harare that they clear these drainages. We are in talks with the Works Department to clear these drainages. Not only should they deal with the drainage system; they should also look at the potholes on our roads. The City of Harare is one of the cities that is receiving finances amounting to $1.2 million from ZINARA. However, we have not been appraised on how the funds are used. But I will deal with the issue that involves City of Harare.
*MR. MUNENGAMI: My question is also directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. He has given us the response that they are holding talks with the City Council of Harare so that they may repair the drainage system. The problem we have is that the Government is officially allocating land to people and we also have private developers allocating stands – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. member, this is a supplementary question. Can you please go to the drainage system? This is what we are talking about.
*MR. MUNENGAMI: My question to the Minister is, why should you hold talks now with the City of Harare and yet you allocate stands to people who build houses where there is no drainage system or sewer?
*MR. KASUKUWERE: Thank you Madam Speaker for the follow-up question. I had responded because I wanted to be diplomatic but now I will be blunt. The problem we have is with the councillors because they are not really working according to how they should work. The land barons who are distributing pieces of land are the councillors; they are creating these barons. We have noted that most of these culprits are councillors from the MDC-T. As a government, we had planned to have a proper housing delivery programme accompanied by a transparent land and stands allocation programme. Unfortunately, the council has promoted these illegal land barons by allocating lands and in appropriate places. I will bring up this issue next week when I bring the discussion in Parliament. There is a lot of corruption in the council, especially in MDC-T. I would like to hold talks with the people who were talking about this.
We have a member from MDC-T who wanted Hon. Cross to come and hold talks with me. I will name the corrupt officials from council – [AN HON. MEMBER: Imi maoko enyu akachena here?]
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. members, we pose questions to Ministers so that they answer us. Now you are shouting, we want to hear what he is explaining.
*MR. KASUKUWERE: Thank you Madam Speaker. In the African culture, we believe that if something is said and you show signs of being uneasy, there is something which you will be trying to hide. However, I am trying to give an explanation and you are now apportioning blame. Madam Speaker, we have a lot of corruption in our cities. As a Government, we would like the people in these urban areas to live a happy life, but it is unfortunate because of corrupt officials like the elders of the city councils. I may liken these corrupt councilors to fathers who abuse or rape their babies. I thank you.
*MS. ZINDI: Thank you Madam Speaker. I have a supplementary question to this debate. The Minister has given a response relating to Harare only. My question is; Minister, are you aware of what is going on in other cities where we have drainage ways filled up with sand and that needs to be cleared, one of these cities is Mutare. May you please give us an overview of the national situation of drainages and potholes in our cities so that we will not have floods during the rainy season.
* MR. KASUKUWERE: Thank you Madam Speaker. Hon. Zindi has asked for an overview of all the cities regarding potholes and the drainage systems. We are saying, in all the revenue collected by our city councils, a bigger portion should be allocated towards the construction of good roads and the welfare of residents.
Unfortunately, the councilors and their workers in these areas are not working hard in using these funds properly. Instead, they seem to be abusing these funds. I will give an example of what was happening in Gweru, we had to suspend the council because they were abusing the funds and their privileges. I thank you.