Harare City Council has resolved to support first lady Auxilia Mnangagwa’s projects amid accusations that the MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora, which dominates the municipality, is abusing the local authority’s resources for political expediency.
A full council meeting last Tuesday endorsed a resolution of the education, health and housing committee of 29 July 2021 that paved the way for partnerships between the first lady and council.
City of Harare said partnering with the first lady is part of its corporate social responsibility programme. The minutes read:
That council approves in retrospect, the participation of council officials and further authorises participation in the forthcoming programmes being organised by the office of the first lady.
Acting town clerk Mabhena Moyo said since 2004, the City of Harare used to work with various departments in among other things, dealing with the issue of street children.
Moyo said Harare was supporting the first lady in the removal of street kids from the streets in the city to Chambuta Refugee Camp on the outskirts of Chiredzi.
However, the MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa said it was inappropriate for local authorities to use ratepayers’ money to support private initiatives by the first lady.
MDC Alliance secretary for local government Sesel Zvidzai told The Standard that Council should rather channel the funds towards service delivery rather bankrolling the first lady’s activities. Said Zvidzai:
We know she is working on a programme to do with street kids and using councils and mayors to pay for those services.
We are against that. It is inappropriate and abuse of funds meant for service delivery at a time it is at its all-time low.
The MDC-T has recalled most of the councillors that support the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance in Harare.
Only three councillors, including suspended mayor Jacob Mafume, belong to the MDC Alliance.
Source – Pindula