Candid Comment:Council sits idly by as Zanu PF runs riot

Itai Masuku

WITH the summer Olympics underway in the UK, there is evidence of heavy vigilance on doping by athletes. Would that those anti-dope monitors provide their services to our country, not for the athletes (we don’t have many who qualify for the Olympics) but for our political and economic managers.
Whereas the doping by Olympians makes them high performers, the drugs on our economic managers tend to cause underperformance or are at best soporific.
Who, in his full faculties would expect local banks, who have struggled to raise minimum capital requirements of US$12,5 million to suddenly come up with US$100 million, and all this in two years?
Where would that money come from given the sluggish state of our economy? The writing has been on the wall for the global economy for a long time and there aren’t people falling over each other to set up banks in Zimbabwe.
If there were, they would have done so when it was still cheap to do so. Which foreigners would rush to invest that amount of money in a minute country that is marred by policy see-saws and disregard for the rule of law.
Take the standoff between the Harare City Council and the Zanu PF provincial youth council over the use (in many cases illegal) of open spaces as car marts. Does that show that we are a country that respects law and order?

 

 

Council made a legal resolution that those spaces should no longer be used for purposes of selling vehicles. While we sympathise with the car dealers, we must remember council is legitimately elected by voters to make such decisions on their behalf, but no, a leader of some nondescript youth group vows to defy a legally binding resolution?

 

 

Had Mr Kunaka said he was going to oppose the decision through legitimate channels, no one would criticise him.
However, this very open defiance of a lawful decision is but a microcosm of the disregard for the rule of law by some of our political quarters at the expense of the economy. Furthermore, Kunaka is an employee of the council.

 

What is more surprising is that he says those who are being evicted are being victimised because they are members of Zanu PF. If these are allegations of favouritism, nepotism or whatever ism, what ism did these Zanu PF members use to obtain exclusive permission from an MDC council?
It’s no secret that the MDC dominates the Harare council. Nevertheless, this is what shows the skewed system of things in our country. It’s not Kunaka alone; there are many Zanu PF youths that have given themselves the mandate to control civil aspects of our life.
A friend trying to run a commuter omnibus business has given up after being fleeced by Zanu PF youths at the Mbare rank who claim to own the place. They demand US$30 for every minibus that leaves the terminus, way above the legal rank fees collected by council.
And many of these youths are quite often “stoned’ to use the lingo. The biggest calamity is that such youths collect these monies on behalf of political bigwigs who have no legal right at all to be imposing such fees on the public.
A foreign businessman intimated to me that he had resigned himself to all the corruption that makes it difficult to do business in this country. He says in order to get a city council licence that costs US$200 he has to fork out US$500 upfront to such youths and the like, plus regular payments as and when they come and threaten to disrupt his business.
And he says he is not alone as many other foreigners that operate businesses here have, like him, opted to just suffer in silence.
The operations of Kunaka and his gang are lawlessness writ large. Why is the council sitting on its hands?