Chitungwiza Town Council lavished police officers conducting a demolition exercise in the town with takeaway food at a time service delivery has plunged to unprecedented levels.
More than 100 officers, including police officers drawn from Chitungwiza’s three stations – St Mary’s, Chitungwiza (Makoni) and Zengeza, police support unit and Municipality police were reportedly treated to chicken and chips and food bought from another top-class eatery in town.
The local authority also bought fuel for vehicles that were used in the exercise including council, Zimbabwe Republic Police as well as Local Government ministry trucks that had been taken from the central government.
Councillors in Chitungwiza have since distanced themselves from the exercise, reminiscent of the 2005 Operation Murambatsvina.
The demolitions of illegal structures within Harare Metropolitan Province commenced on Monday following a directive from Tafadzwa Muguti, the provincial development coordinator.
Chitungwiza residents through Chitungwiza Residents Trust (Chitrest) on Thursday got an interim court relief interdicting the continuation of the demolitions. Chitrest director Alice Kuvheya said:
We heard that council used its money to do the demolitions. We heard that they bought the food for the officers and fueled the vehicles.
It’s surprising that council is able to fund such an exercise when they can’t provide residents with essential services.
We don’t have water, garbage is all over the town, no medication. Council workers are not being paid yet they decide to go demolish informal traders’ sources of income.
The traders pay the taxes and rent to the council and the council comes back to them using their money to demolish their structures. It’s so inhumane.
Kuvheya said they would make sure every cent is accounted for with regards to the demolitions.
The Standard could not get a comment from Chitungwiza mayor Lovemore Maiko on Saturday as did not pick his phone while acting town Evangelista Machona was not reachable.