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City council violating residents’ rights

SOME months ago the Zimbabwe Independent published a letter from the Avenues ratepayers raising the issue of the illegal and selfish closure of two public footpaths in the city centre – the path

by the Crowne Plaza Hotel and the other side of Trust Bank, running from Park Lane through to Samora Machel Avenue.

In that letter, as the municipality had refused all requests for relevant information, I asked that the city council, through the Independent, supply us with details covering certain procedures required to legally effect such closures. Of course, arrogant as we know the council to be, nothing was done.

One would have thought that the mayor, whose attention must have been drawn to the issue, would have directed the council to respond, but of course, he did not!

One would also have thought that our so-called caring councillors, entrusted with our concerns and voted in on promises to do a better job than the previous lot, would have likewise raised the issue and responded. Again, not one did. But I’m personally not surprised when one looks at the calibre of most of them. It does not matter what party they represent, most are from the same mould and are much like peas in a pod. If this is not a foretaste of the future, I don’t know what is!

Now I have noticed another footpath closure, this time the section of Third Street between Samora Machel and Union Avenue. This is yet another great inconvenience to pedestrians, with no valid reason for the closure.

Yet another path closed at the whim of some fat cats who drive to and from the city, with no understanding or care for pedestrians. Once again, closed without following legal procedures, the process clearly sanctioned by a moribund, incompetent planning authority.

I would also like to know why all those so-called public supporting organisations – businesses, NGOs, professional bodies and so forth, that profess to care about the City of Harare and its residents, do nothing?

There sure is a lot of hypocrisy and hidden agendas! Interestingly, it’s these same business that have the audacity to call the kettle black!

M Leppard,

Chairman, Avenues, Central

North, Residents Association.

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