PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday accused opposition-led local government councils of being “corrupt opportunists”.
He made the remarks at the burial of the late national hero, Oliver Chidawu at the National Heroes’ Acre in the capital.
Chidawu (68) died last week due to suspected cardiac arrest. He made history in 1984 when he became Harare’s youngest mayor at 29.
In his eulogy, Mnangagwa said the 2023 elections presented residents an opportunity to remove the opposition from urban councils.
“The nation has, indeed, lost a development-oriented and humble minister, and he served the nation with utmost loyalty. He … built a vast business empire in sectors that have driven the national economy,” Mnangagwa said.
“His visionary leadership transformed the capital city to earn the accolade Sunshine City. During his tenure, Harare City Council provided high quality and reliable services to residents. It is most unfortunate that the achievements and legacy of the likes of engineer Chidawu have been ruined by the current crop of Harare city councillors.
“These opportunists have no affinity to improve the quality of life of our people and instead continue to abuse their public positions for personal expediency. The trend should not be allowed in the future. Residents in our urban areas must take back the power by voting for men and women with vision, ingenuity and unwavering passion to serve in public offices and the current rot in Harare and other local authorities under opposition parties must be brought to an end.
“The 2023 general elections present a yawning opportunity for ratepayers to correct the misnomer of having rogue and insensitive characters running local councils.”
Calling on urbanites to challenge the decadence in local authorities by voting for Zanu PF, Mnangagwa also said Zimbabwe continues to face attacks by “perennial detractors”.
Citizens Coalition for Change deputy spokesperson Gift Siziba rubbished Mnangagwa’s corruption claims by urban councillors, saying: “It is well known that the First Family is the main perpetrator of corruption and it has been benefiting from government tenders. As a country, we are losing at least US$2 billion to illicit financial flows and Zanu PF is well known for disturbing development in councils, and that is why most councils are struggling.” Newsday