Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Suspended Mutare Mayor still to receive probe report

Mutare, March 26, 2012 - Suspended mayor Brian James said he is still to receive a findings of the probe team that was send by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo. James said this at an MDC-T meeting held at Chirowakamwe Primary School in Dangamvura. James is the treasurer for MDC-T Manicaland province. “Chombo’s probe team have completed their work but I have not been given a report of their findings but I am confident that they will not be able to substantiate any of the allegations against me,” said James. James said it appears that sections of management and some of the councillors continue to make unfounded accusations against. “I have been an open and diligent mayor and councillor and we have done good work in this city”. I will not let certain individuals tarnish both council’s and my reputation and rubbish the achievements we have made,” said James. James said as councillors they resolved to engage consultants to help formulate a strong and accountable budget, he said they also collectively resolved to engage an independent audit company to audit Pungwe Breweries. A Pungwe brewery is a company that is owned by City of Mutare and it has not been audited since 2009. Council’s 2012 accounts are also to be audited. “Why do management continue to disrupt council’s progress by failing to implement these resolutions, what exactly are they afraid of.” Audits are a prerequisite of all public fund management and will uncover any corruption that may have taken place,” said James. James said he is now publicly challenging fellow councillors through the town clerk to now implement these audits that are essential for good governance and accountable management. The former mayor said people should not be misled that these audits can only be carried out when finances are available yet there is money to buy a vehicle for the town clerk. “Is a US$90 000 vehicle for the town clerk more important than financial audits, public facilities and service delivery,” said James. James said a recent independent labour report conducted for council revealed gross mismanagement within council’s labour structures. He said these are issues that council need to concentrate on as without strong accountable budgets ratepayers will merely be asked for increased rates in the future to pay back a continuing practise of unauthorised expenditure.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mutare City council gets US$1.7 million for traffic lights

MUTARE:- The city council here has been advanced a loan of US$1.7 million for the erection of traffic lights in the central business district. The money has been advanced to city council by Investment Development Bank of Zimbabwe. City Engineer Donald Nyatoti told a full council meeting that they have identified 24 intersections in Mutare that need traffic lights. Currently Mutare has only seven intersections that are have traffic lights and only two intersections have functional ones. “We have currently identified intersections that have become dangerous and we will be soon putting traffic lights on these intersections,” said Nyatoti. Special interest councillor Hlanganiso Matangaidze was opposing the channelling of the whole amount to the putting up of traffic light and instead wanted part of the money to buy some refuse trucks so as to improve service delivery in the city. “Traffic light do not generate income, we should also channel this money towards the buying of refuse trucks that bring in money through rates that are paid by residents,” said Matangaidze. Matangaidze’s call was shot down by the majority of MDC-T councillors who said the volume of traffic has increased in the city hence the need for traffic lights at most intersections. “We are lucky that residents have not sued us because a lot of traffic lights are not working and this has contributed to a lot of accidents,” said George Jerrison the acting mayor. The erection of traffic lights will reduce the rate accidents at most intersections in Mutare.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

High Court judge says Zimbabweans lost confidence in Judiciary

A High Court Judge has said Zimbabweans have lost confidence in the judiciary system because of too much backlogs in the courts. Justice Charles Hungwe while officially opening the High Court Circuit in Mutare said the backlog in the courts has caused a lot of Zimbabweans to lose confidence in the judiciary system. “The volumes of matters requiring the attention of superior court judges has resulted in multi-faceted problems which include backlogs and slow delivery of justice to the extent that public confidence in the judiciary process has been significantly reduced, it is in my view time to address this,” said Justice Hungwe. Justice Hungwe said the effectiveness of circuit court is well documented and time has come to throw open for debate for suggestions for the improvement of access to justice for the generality of the population. “The present system has created a never ending spiral of backlog congesting not only the high court but also the magistrate courts and even the lower courts,” he said. Justice Hungwe said the present system was meant to service a particular social and political dispensation. He said after Zimbabwe gained its independence there was no sufficient effort made towards broadening access to justice for the general population except for the lower echelons of the judiciary structure. He said this resulted in improved access to the lower courts only. Justice Hungwe also welcomed a recent move by Alpha Media Holdings of establishing the office of an in-house Ombudsman that will offer dispute resolution to handle complaints against reportages by newspapers in the stable. “This is commendable as it shows initiative regarding practical steps for redress to the public which is a redress that is cost effective in that a complainant does not need to have a deep pocket for his or her complaint to be fairly resolved,” said Justice Hungwe. Justice Hungwe said the High Court circuit in Mutare is filled with murder trials. The opening of the High court circuit was attendant by members in the legal fraternity in Manicaland province.