BULAWAYO Progressive Residents’ Association (BPRA) wants the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Governance, Urban and Rural Development to investigate Local Government, Public Works and National Housing minister Ignatious Chombo after he reinstated suspended Harare town clerk, Tendai Mahachi.
Last week, Chombo reversed the decision by Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni to suspend Mahachi saying Manyenyeni and Mahachi should work in harmony for the good of the city.
Manyenyeni suspended Mahachi for a period of three months, after the town clerk failed to provide the salary and benefits schedule of all Harare City Council senior employees, including his own.
BPRA advocacy and programmes manager, Emmanuel Ndlovu said Chombo’s move was a setback of justice and an endorsement of the shocking salary that Mahachi was pocketing.
“As a stakeholder in local governance, BPRA is appalled by Chombo’s move which it believes was a blow of justice and an endorsement of the outrageous salary that Mahachi was pocketing”.
“BPRA views the move as suspicious given that Chombo has in the past been in the limelight for the wrong reasons as in 2011 it emerged that he owns vast properties — residential stands, commercial stands, farms, farming equipment and vehicles across the country,” he said.
Ndlovu added that, Chombo should be audited to ascertain how he amassed his wealth.
He said Chombo must be investigated to establish his motivation in rescinding the suspension of Mahachi who accused of abusing his office to enrich himself.
He said, BPRA further calls upon the parliamentary portfolio committee to institute an independent probe into the salary structures of local authorities in the country.
“This is to ensure that the executives are not enriching themselves at the expense of service delivery and the well-being of the residents,” said Ndlovu.
There is a general consensus Chombo could be thwarting efforts to probe the Harare council officials who are said to have looted coffers are involved in suspect deals and receive mega salaries and allowances.