The Harare City Council is an administrative body tasked with providing services for residence of Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. Among other duties, the council is responsible for providing clean drinking water, housing and accomodation, refuse collection facilities and health services.

Harare
City
Hre aerial view1.jpg
Nickname(s): Sunshine City
Fort 1890
Founded by Pioneer Column
Government
Population (2012)
 • Total 2.1 million

Contents

Background

The city of Harare evolved from the City of Salisbury which existed in colonial Rhodesia. After the country's independence, the former was replaced by the Harare City Council in 1980. Salisbury as a settlement had been established in 1890 by a group of mercenaries called the Pioneer Column which worked for the British South Africa Company led by Cecil Rhodes.

Leadership Structure

The department is run by an elected Non-Executive Mayor, Deputy Mayor, 46 elected Councillors and 12 Councillors who are Special Appointments by the Minister of Local Government Urban and Rural Development. The 46 Councillors represent the residents of the wards in which they are elected while the Special Appointment Councillors are brought in to compliment on the expertise that is needed in various council departments at policy level. City Of Harare provides local government services such as education, health, recreation, housing, water and sanitation, fire and ambulance, road construction and maintenance, burial and cremation services among others through its 10 departments which are headed by Directors. All the Directors report to the Town Clerk.[1]

Service Provision

Most of the key public services in the capital city are run ad administered by the City of Harare. These include health services. In this regard, the city runs and administers key health institutions such as clinics, hospitals and maternity homes in almost every suburb.

Health Facilities

The Harare City Council administers one of the biggest hospitals in Zimbabwe. These include Harare Hospital which is located in the capital. It also has other poly-clinics and maternity centres located in the respective suburbs. The clinics are serviced by professional health staff such as nurses and doctors. These include Rujeko Clinic in the high density surbub of Dzivarasekwa, Kuwadzana Poly-clinic, Harare Hospital, Wilkins Hospital among others.

Academic Institutions

Most of the primary and secondary schools in the Harare Metropolitan Province are run by the Harare City Council. Besides primary and secondary schools, there are also special needs schools as well as nurseries for children in most suburbs of Harare. The schools offer education on comparatively low charges as compared to private institutions.

Sports and Recreational Facilities

Workers filling pot-holes in the streets of Harare
These include, stadiums, gymnasiums, basketball courts, tennis courts, volleyball courts, cricket fields and netball courts. They are meant to provide the residence with convenient sporting and recreational space.

Sanitary Services

City Workers collecting Refuse
This department is responsible for collecting refuse from the residential as well as industrial areas. It also works with other governments department to make sure that sewage and industrial waste is disposed off from its areas.

Water Supply

The Morton Jeffery water treatment plant is the run by the council. Lake Chivero located on the western side of the city is the largest water source in the city. It contains the bulk of the water that is supplied to the city's suburbs.

Security and Order

Together with the Ministry of Transport, the city council in 2014 opened a new commuter omnibus bay in order to effectively monitor traffic population in its quest to maintain order. The council also maintains order in the central business district especially against vendors and other informal traders who usually brew chaos in the streets.

Distribution

The city is divided into various districts depending on the location. Each suburb in the district falls under a particular district. Each district is run by a district administrator. Harare has several districts which include, Dzivarasekwa, Borrowdale, Kuwadzana, Highfield, Mabvuku, Mbare, Sunningdale, Mufakose, Tafara and Glen View.[1]

Demography

Greater Harare or Harare Province which includes Harare Urban (1.5 million), Harare Rural, Chitungwiza and Epworth have a population of about 2.1 million people according to the Census 2012 Preliminary Results by ZIMSTAT. Of this population, 1 million are males and 1.1 million are female.[1]

Salarygate

Since 2012, there have been concerns that the council was offering mega salaries to its leading figures who included the mayor and other directors. The issue was tabled in parliament and the government came to a resolution that the salaries be reduced. In the face of these developments, the general public has argued that the council has made a record of under-performing considering the amount of rates paid by the local population to the authority.[2]

Criticisms

The council has been accused of gross incompetence due to its failure to address issues such as potholes in the streets, poor roads, poor lighting, erratic water supplies, slow allocation of residential stands and mis-management of funds. Furthermore, the council has also been accused of corrupt tendencies especially in the allocation of stands in the residential areas.[3] The council has also been accused of failing to provide safe drinking water for its residence. In addition, the city's traffic department has also been accused of milking motorists due to its high exhorbitant penalties for offenders. The city has also been marred by poor sanitary, illegal dumbing and sewage bursts which have given Harare a bad reputation.

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 , City Management, "City of Harare", published:2014,retrieved:29 Oct 2014"
  2. , Harare City Council salary shocker, retrieved:29 Oct 2014"
  3. , Harare City Council Owed $280mtitle, "Radio VOP", retrieved:29 oCT 2014"