Harare mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni and residents have criticised Town Clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi and other senior council officials for leading luxurious lifestyles at a time when service delivery has plummeted to levels where council is failing to replace street lights.Â Mr Manyenyeni described city officials as selfish, while the Harare Residents Trust accused Dr Mahachi of being an arrogant leader.
Mr Manyenyeni wrote on his Facebook page; âToday, I wish my main points of contacts, my partners in service and my stakeholders a very special gift . . . the gift of conscience in these times . . . banish the false sense of entitlement!
âWould you unveil a spanking new Range Rover in addition to your just-as-new V8? Ignoring all public sentiment â against this specifically! Yes, godfather says grab and drive but . . . would you guys look your residents straight in the eye and say I have two new cars from the same employer for the same job?â
He added: âHow much other double-dipping could you possibly and quietly be enjoying? Would you guys demand bonuses when we are struggling with salaries and are in arrears? Can this employer justify any payment of bonuses when we say we have no resources? Do you know we have no shareholders and so no dividend motive?â
Mr Manyenyeni questioned the cityâs management decision to accept cellphone allowances when they do not answer clientsâ calls and the decision to spend money holding meetings, discussions and workshops in hotels out of town.
He also accused council officials of prioritising themselves ahead of service delivery and taking advantage of the legalities, practicalities and politics.
âHave you ever imagined how far away from your job you would be if getting rid of you was easier and cheaper?â said Mr Manyenyeni in reference to council directors.
âDo you know just how many people would jump to take your job at half your pay packet and possibly perform more diligently? If this had been your business, would you be making these decisions, carrying these costs as you do now?â
The Harare Residents Trust said it was inconceivable that Dr Mahachi was taking delivery of new top-of-the-range vehicle when he already had another one bought using a waterworks loan facility obtained from China.
âHe still has the V8 (Toyota Land Cruiser) which was unveiled last year, both from the City of Harare, from ratepayersâ money. Who is making the town clerk so indifferent to residentsâ demands? To us this is massive! He is looting through a legalised theft of public resources,â said HRT.
But Dr Mahachi accused Mr Manyenyeni of playing to the gallery saying he needed to be educated on council operations.
âHe is a frustrated man who wants to tarnish our images,â he said. âAll the allegations he is making are unfounded. As you are aware, there was no Range Rover bought using the Chinese funds, but three Land Rovers (Discovery) which I am using for the project.
âWe have not claimed any cellphone allowances as we have contract lines which are paid by council. We are also yet to receive bonuses and salaries since we are on performance-based contracts.â
Dr Mahachi said they were still to be appraised by a council committee hence they could not get paid bonuses before the appraisal.
He accused Mr Manyenyeni of using council directors as pawns in achieving his agenda.