The mooted Harare Commission: A case of the pot calling kettle black?

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Harare Mayor Herbert Gomba

THE reported manuevre by sections of Zanu PF and government to dismantle the current MDC-led Harare council and replace it with a commission on the back of mayor Herbert Gomba’s arrest on corruption allegations smacks of hypocrisy on the part of those in authority.

Zim Morning Post last week broke that story, quoting unnamed top government officials as its sources.

The a government-controlled daily newspaper also echoed similar sentiments the following day, obviously authenticating what this publication had said.

But many see the said “rot” that has ravaged Harare City Council (HCC)’s Housing Department as representative of the tragedy that has become Zimbabwe from the time that Zanu PF came to power in 1980.

Gomba was last week arrested on allegations of corruption involving millions of dollars in land allocations in Harare’s Kuwadzana high density suburb, and his case is now before the courts of law.

But it would seem that some in Zanu PF and government are already sharpening their swords, ready even to replace all elected Harare councillors with – if the past is anything to go by – a complicity commission to run the affairs of the city.

If the quick appointment of a commission to run Harare is not an opportunity for those in power to aggrandise themselves, then one wonders what else such a hurry is intended to achieve.

Zanu PF and those in charge of State institutions should understand that charity begins at home.

To us – as Zim Morning Post – corruption in any form is anathema.

The late national hero and musician, Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi had this advice in one of his songs: Handiro Dambudziko:

Kushingirira kurapa
Mhopo pamusana
Mhopo iripamusana
Iwe une ziso rine mbonje

The above lyrics represent a biblical extraction:

“Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye [Luke 6:42].”

The Land Reform Programme of 2002 (with all its visibly skewed and multi-ownership trends), Farm Mechanisation Scheme of 2008 for which a dime was never returned by its well-connected beneficiaries, the corruptly ZEDTC Chivayo-Gwanda solar tender award of 2015 worth US$6 million (for which no work has been done to date) and more recently, the Drax International COVID-19 scandal (involving high-profile personalities and their families) all constitute unmitigated cases of shameless corruption by the Zanu PF government (for which no redress has been provided for the suffering Zimbabweans).

But then the Government of Zimbabwe is renowned for its heavy-handedness and headstrong attitude, with the hapless citizenry even accusing the New Dispensation of President Emmerson Mnangagwa of paying lip service to democratic tenets.

From the time when Zanu PF started losing municipal elections around 2002 in urban areas, Harare metropolitan has had three commissions appointed to run the municipality’s affairs.

What is tragic about previously appointed commissions, however, is their make up of mostly Zanu PF functionaries who many suspect will do nothing (to improve Harare) but take their appointments as an opportunity to plunder the city’s resources.

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