ZANU PF has smuggled two of its top functionaries, Tony Gara and Tendai Savanhu, into the Harare City Council despite Local Government minister Ignatious Chombo’s protestations that there wa
s no commission running the affairs of the city.
Chombo transferred authority to run Harare from Movement for Democratic Change councillors to the ruling party through the appointment of a monitoring committee chaired by James Kurasha. The Kurasha committee is made up of five members including Gara and Savanhu.
Gara is a former mayor of Harare, former deputy Minister of Local Government and 2000 parliamentary election losing candidate for Mbare East. He lost the seat to MDC candidate Tichaona Munyanyi.
Savanhu is also another 2000 parliamentary election loser and former Harare commissioner. Savanhu lost Mbare West to the MDC’s Dunmore Makuwaza.
The two were brought back to the politically sensitive Town House to ensure the ruling party’s grip on the local authority ahead of the 2005 parliamentary election.
Harare town clerk Nomutsa Chideya revealed to the Zimbabwe Independent that acting mayor Sekesai Makwavarara was making all decisions on the city while the five-member Kurasha committee monitored implementation.
“All decisions are being made by the acting mayor until such a time as government puts in place a structure to run the city,” Chideya said in an interview. “The Kurasha committee is on a monitoring mission.”
Asked for details on his committee’s functions at Town House, Kurasha said there was need to get clearance from Makwavarara and her team of officials before he could comment.
“We are a monitoring team appointed by the Ministry of Local Government,” Kurasha said. “I can’t give any details, you should get clearance from the Town House first.”
Council sources said Kurasha and his team had been allocated offices at Town House and were attending all decision-making meetings of the local authority.
“Kurasha now has a permanent office at Town House while his other members spend most of their time in the other offices in the town hall,” sources said. “The committee had long taken over the running of council even before the resignation of the MDC councillors. “