By Mike Davies
YOUR correspondent R Gunner asks for comment from the Combined Harare Residents Association regarding the latest antics by the municipality operating under the illegal Makwavarara Commission, “Let’s unite to ous
t this commission”, (Zimbabwe Independent, August 18).
We are not surprised by the attempts of the cash-strapped municipality to offload its responsibilities onto residents. It is incapable of delivering even a minimum of services to residents as it is financially, morally, legally and professionally bankrupt.
It is led by a politically-appointed commission that is clearly illegal and as such has no mandate to make any decisions on behalf of residents. Its head is a rapacious turncoat who is frantically feathering her nest before she is discarded by her boss who will not hesitate to scapegoat her when it becomes expedient to do so.
As if Operation Murambatsvina was insufficient proof, the arrogant nature of the letter received by Mr Gunner is ample demonstration of an administration at war with residents.
This reflects the contempt that the regime has for urban residents (who are derided as totemless) and its rural, peasant powerbase. Let us not deceive ourselves about the nature of those who hold power at Town House and elsewhere.
CHRA has been at the forefront of efforts to dislodge the thieves who occupy Town House. We filed an application with the High Court in June 2005 seeking legal recourse from the depredations of Makwavarara and her fellow “travellers” but the court in its wisdom denied the urgency and merits of our application. The failure of the judiciary to protect residents has forced us to call for greater civil disobedience, primarily in the form of rates boycott and also in mounting street protests to demonstrate against the illegal commission and the continuing theft of our money.
Hence our call to ratepayers to refuse to pay rates under the slogan “Do not fund your oppressors”.
We are obstructed in this effort by those who are motivated by self-interest and who bemoan the fact that their water will be cut off by the municipality in an attempt to intimidate them.
Our response has always been that if one’s principles do not cost anything from time-to-time, then they are not worth very much.
lMike Davies is CHRA chairperson.