HomePoliticsChideya 'borrows' Joburg plan

Chideya ‘borrows’ Joburg plan

Augustine Mukaro

EMBATTLED Harare town clerk Nomutsa Chideya appears to have borrowed parts of his strategic turnaround plan for Harare that he presented to Local Government minister Ign

atius Chombo last month, describing it as a “masterpiece”.

The plan, which seeks to transform Harare City Council departments into strategic business entities, bears remarkable similarities to Johannesburg’s Unicity blueprint.

The document also resembles one prepared by suspended executive mayor Elias Mudzuri, dubbed Vision Harare 2010 strategic plan, which was turned down by Chombo earlier this year.

Harare councillors said over 25 stakeholder organisations were involved in the drafting of the Mudzuri turnaround plan. The project was sponsored and coordinated by the Fredrick Naumann Foundation. Project coordinator Rejoice Ngwenya said there was no way an individual could claim ownership of the plan because it contained inputs from multiple stakeholders.

“We used up to $20 million towards the production of that document,” Ngwenya said. “Over 25 stakeholders gathered to put it together from the initiative of mayor Mudzuri.”

The Johannesburg Unicity structure is made up of utilities in the form of registered companies wholly owned by council, run along business lines by a city manager and executive directors.

The utilities are self-funding, receiving no annual grants from the city and provide billable services direct to individual households.

According to Chideya’s strategic plan, the city envisages creating 12 autonomous business units to run council affairs. He said the move would commercialise income-generating entities and improve revenue collection. Johannesburg has 10 similar utilities.

Chideya’s document, availed to the Zimbabwe Independent this week, will be tabled before a full council session in the next two weeks and if approved will be implemented alongside the 2004 council budget.

Contacted for comment on Wednesday, Chideya said his concept paper was ready for presentation to various committees of the council.

“We have already presented the plan to the minister for noting,” Chideya said. “We are now in the process of presenting it to council who need to approve the document before it can be implemented.”

The town clerk said if council approves this framework, he would then start setting up structures for the implementation of the strategic turnaround plan.

In the same manner as the Johannesburg set-up, Chideya proposes that the local authority should wholly own the businesses utilities and, where necessary, enter joint ventures and smart partnerships, technological transfers and strategic alliances with the private sector.

Chideya’s business utilities include Harare Corporate, which will be responsible for human resources, public relations and administration.

Harare Metro will be in charge of the municipal police and courts.

Harare Water will cater for water and sewerage treatment, managed by an autonomous Harare Water Authority.

Harare Estate will focus on estate development valuation, housing and council properties.

There will also be Harare Infrastructure in charge of roads and lighting while Harare Health will be in charge of primary health delivery.

Harare Environment will take over the general cleaning of municipal areas and refuse collection and disposal. It will also take charge of parks and deal with pollution.

Harare Holdings will be the corporate entity that warehouses council’s businesses such as nurseries, chalets, and farms. Harare Finance will be in charge of accounting, budgeting and revenue collection.

There will also be Harare Social that deals with social services, recreation and sporting facilities, and Harare Emergency which will shelter the fire brigade and ambulance services.

A new division, Harare Civic, will be introduced to give the city a new dimension in civic participation, consultations, and dialogue in order to relate citizens and council officials.

Chideya’s plan envisages corporatising the utilities into separate businesses, run on business lines and headed by general managers and boards of directors appointed on five-year performance-based contracts.

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