Zimbabwe United Residents Association’s board: Statement on Minister Chombo

Dear Residents and Partners – The Zimbabwe United Residents Association’s board, its national membership and technical team received the uncharacteristic (Herald edition of the 5th of November, 2010, page 1 & 2) story of Ignatius Chombo and his wife’s fight over assets’ with great interest and concern.

The association does respect Ignatius Chombo’s privacy and does not intend in any way to interfere in his private affairs. Of great concern to the association and its national membership and the rent and rate paying citizens of this country was the shocking revelation that the Minister for Local Government, Rural and Urban development, a public servant for the people of Zimbabwe has at least 15 cars, 18 residential flats and houses, 60 residential stands and 7 commercial stands as well as at least 10 companies!

This comes barely two weeks since the Newsday of October 28, 2010 on page 4 published a related story where members of parliament are alleged to have called for the  ‘Minister’s wings to be clipped’ citing a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government which revealed that there was massive corruption in urban councils. As expected, ZANU PF MPs defended Chombo saying corruption “has nothing to do with politics. It is about management of local authorities”. You should train your councilors to prepare budgets and reports.

The national residents association appreciates the fact that there are massive capacity challenges in our local authorities especially in relation to some of the councilors, and this is partly a result of the flawed Urban Councils and Rural District Councils Acts. Nevertheless, this is no excuse for the corrupt, nepotistic and unaccountable tendencies of ‘Big Men’ like Chombo and his cronies. The national association notes that this is not an isolated incidence but a reflection of the rotten state of affairs in our country.

 
Under the guise of lawlessness, populist policies and rhetoric represented by chaotic land reform exercise and the indigenization farce is massive looting and primitive accumulation by our national elites. There is a great correlation between the falling standards of living as represented by atrocious social service delivery and dilapidated infrastructure with the growing power and wealth of the elites.

In view of this development, ZURA demands the following;

  • That the parliamentary portfolio committee on Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, the Anti-Corruption Commission, and all the concerned and relevant organizations to institute an independent and thorough investigation in the corrupt dealings of the said Minister as well as an audit of the Urban Councils and Rural District Councils Acts and make this report public.
  • That there be public hearings and debates on how to come up with a national policy and law that requires senior public servants to declare their assets and interests upon taking the oath of office. 
  • That the relevant parliamentary portfolio committees responsible for land and other strategic national resources including our civil service carried out audits and make its findings public.
  • That the policies of indigenization and land reform which are noble ideas, be carried out in a non-partisan and transparent manner, and that these policies be coherent with the existing progressive ideals of a democratic developmental state that seeks to genuinely empower its citizens.
  • ZURA demands that the pervasive culture of lawlessness, impunity and a total disregard to the values of public service be immediately curbed to bring to an end the culture of senior public servants that give themselves a privileged and unfettered access to the national cake at the expense of the hardworking but suffering Zimbabweans.
The National leadership of ZURA will be meeting with the relevant offices and authorities to ensure that these resolutions are implemented.
National President

Rev N Mhosira