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Costly Car Purchase Probe of Harare Mayor Upsets Residents

City of Harare
The Harare Residents Trust is criticizing the Harare City Council for embarking on a costly probe of the town clerk and other city officials saying this could be an exercise in futility as there is no guarantee that action will be taken against them.

Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni on Tuesday appointed a five-member special committee to investigate the alleged purchase of 25 luxurious vehicles using funds from the $144.4 million loan from China.

The loan was secured specifically for a water and sewerage reticulation project but Manyenyeni’s council alleges the funds were abused.

Harare Residents Trust founder Precious Shumba said the probe may just be a waste of scarce resources.

Manyenyeni noted that investigating the alleged abuse of the Chinese loan is the right thing.

Meanwhile, legal battle lines have been drawn between the government and Chitungwiza residents over the looming demolition of at least 1,000 houses it says were illegally built.

Local Government and National Housing Deputy Minister Joel Biggie Matiza told the state-run Herald newspaper that the demolitions would go ahead because residents are continuing with constructions despite a directive that they should stop.

Lawyers representing the Chitungwiza Residents’ Trust, however, say they are drafting an interdict stopping the government action.

Trust board secretary Tinashe Kadzuru said while they admit that there are some houses that were built illegally they are only a handful.