Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has raised concern over the amount of money City of Harare spent on sports following remarks by Local Government Minister, Savior Kasukuwere that the local authority was splashing millions on football at the expense of service delivery.
By Faith Zvorufura
While addressing City of Harare officials during a tour of rehabilitated roads, Kasukuwere gave a 24 hour ultimatum for uncollected garbage piling at undesignated dumpsites to be cleared.
According to CHRA, sentiments by Kasukuwere vindicates their long held claim that lack of transparency and accountability was largely responsible for the poor state of affairs in Harare.
“Sentiments by the minister vindicate our long held claims that lack of transparency and accountability was largely responsible for the poor state of affairs in Harare,
“According to the Harare City Council Corporate Communications Manager, Michael Chideme, the council has an annual budget of 5.5 million on sports.
“Of major concern is the fact that sport has been turned into a looting avenue by council bigwigs as evidenced by the huge spending that has seen millions being splashed on sport while residents continue to be exposed to diseases due to poor service delivery,
“As CHRA, we are on record that in as much as we appreciate sports development, we are against a situation whereby sports take precedence over effective service delivery,” said CHRA in a statement released on Tuesday.
According to Harare Mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni, $84 682 was spent on a Harare basketball tour to Swaziland with executives pocketing $15 380 in allowances.
“It is unfortunate that such huge spending comes at a time the Harare City Council is claiming they do not have money to buy fuel for refuse trucks,” Manyenyeni was quoted in the media recently.
CHRA called for proper mechanisms to guard against abuse of public funds and office by Harare City Council officials.
The City of Harare sports budget is broken down as follows; golf- $100 000, volleyball- $255. 743, netball $323-333, basketball- $1 376.124, inter-cities tournament- $100 000, women’s soccer- $500.000, junior soccer- $475 000, councilors ward sports kits acquisition- $180 000, ward sports facilities development- $150 000, council sports tournament- $150 000, senior men’s soccer (Harare City Football Club)- $2 Million.