Controversial Harare mayor and officials squander US$24 000 on lavish trip amid cholera crisis


Controversially elected CCC Harare mayor Lovejoy Chitengu, his deputy Rosemary Muronda, six other councillors and top officials are splashing US$24 000 and about $133 million on a trip in Nyanga, which is aimed at finding “new financial and business” partners.

With less than a week as Harare mayor, Cllr Chitengu, who was elected to replace recalled Cllr Ian Makone, is leading the delegation on a trip that has exposed the council bosses’ penchant for luxury amid a serious cholera crisis.

According to a leaked confidential memo, the team includes Councillors Costa Mande, Elvis Ruzani, Raymond Jakopo, Tafadzwa Machirori, Felix Chabuda and Lovemore Makuwerere.

The councillors were accompanied by five council officials, including two drivers and one aide to the Zimbabwe Institute of Strategic Thinking annual conference, which started Monday and ends today.

The conference is being held at Troutbeck Resort in Nyanga.

An internal council memo states that the conference’s objective is to find financial and business partners, expand the network to top-level business contracts and discover and learn best practices from leading and fast-growing companies.

Last week, it was all chaos as CCC Harare City councillors voted for the election of a “recalled” Clr Chitengu of Ward 36, to become the city’s mayor. He replaces former mayor Makone, who was recalled by CCC interim secretary general Mr Sengezo Tshabangu.

Despite red flags being raised by acting chamber secretary Warren Chiwawa that the issue was before the parent Ministry, elections still proceeded.

But as City of Harare officials enjoy hefty perks in Nyanga, the capital has been recording a rise in cholera cases mainly in Kuwadzana, Glen View and Budiriro.

As of Monday, Harare had 3 154 cumulative suspected cholera cases and 14 suspected cholera deaths.

Harare residents are contending with massive water cuts, and even when available, the water is dirty and unfit for human consumption, which has seen more people relying on boreholes drilled by President Mnangagwa since last year.

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