Harare City Mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni, on Wednesday visited the Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital, Edith Opperman Maternity and Wilkins Hospital to give presents and wish patients a Merry Christmas.
This was done as part of the Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Fund, which is conducted every year to cater for the less privileged members of society.
Manyenyeni was accompanied by his wife. The presentation comes at a time when most people in Zimbabwe are lamenting the harsh economic environment that has led the government to delay paying civil servants, who are likely to spend this Christmas holiday without a pay cheque.
Despite the economic challenges, the mayor told VOA Studio 7 he was able to raise funds throughout the year at various events held under the Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Fund to distribute to the less fortunate members of society during the festive season.
“We are wishing everyone a Merry Christmas especially those that may not be feeling well during this festive season and we hope that our small contribution will go a long way in bringing smiles to those we visited today,” said Mayor Manyenyeni.
The Harare City council has been under fire from residents for failing to provide basic services and clean water but Mayor Manyenyeni said he hopes people will start paying their bills to enable the council to be liquid in the coming year and provide required services.
The council has also been under fire for carrying out demolitions at a time the economy is continuing to spiral downwards.
The mayor said he hoped that people will now buy stands lawfully and avoid going through demolitions as this is the last resort.
"Those that find themselves having built (houses) on unlawful land should regularize their paperwork at their local councils and avoid the trauma of losing their houses as this is the last resort,” said Manyenyeni, who could not be drawn to comment on whether the demolitions would continue in 2016.