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Harare Mayor blocks Ipads request

By Daniel Chigundu

Harare Mayor Councillor Hebert Gomba says he has managed to block an unreasonable request for Ipads by councillors at a time when the council is facing financial challenges to effectively discharge its duties.

The city council has been failing to provide clean water, collect garbage and even repair broken sewer pipes due to lack of funds.

Most garbage trucks are grounded due to lack of funds needed to acquire spare parts to service them.

Despite these critical service delivery challenges, some councillors had requested that the council buy Ipads for them so that they don’t carry a lot of papers around.

Harare has about 46 ward-based councillors and Ipads cost anything from US$750 each going upwards depending on the specs.

Responding on his Twitter account following complaints from residents, Councillor Gomba said they had agreed with the town clerk that the Ipads were not a priority and will not be procured.

“The issue to do with Ipads was dealt with by myself and the town clerk, we agreed it’s not a priority and shall be treated as such, let’s concentrate on the mobilisation of resources for the council to ensure the transformational plan works,” he said.

The Mayor added that the matter was merely a submission and had not been considered and that Councillors have been informed of the development.

“After I posted this tweet in the morning all councillors were informed and further nothing had been procured since it wasn’t a resolved matter but a mere submission which had no report or recommendations from the town clerk, it’s not a priority therefore not to be implemented, its fault,” said Councillor Gomba.

Meanwhile, Councillor Gomba has revealed that the issues had been raised by a Zanu PF Councillor and not MDC as people were alleging.

“You will be surprised who raised that issue, it’s not even MDC, however, we take collective responsibility as council and I stopped it,” said the Mayor.

Harare Councillors are not the first elected officials to have demanded Ipads, as last year legislators demanded that they are bought Ipads by then Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa.

They even threatened to sabotage the 2018 National Budget if their demands were not met.

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He used to the editor for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association and a board member of Digital Communication Network. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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