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Byo councillor implores residents to join electricity project

‘Through this small gesture we are encouraging other residents to take part in this electrification programme’

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By VIMBAINASHE MATUMBA

COWDRY PARK councillor Nkosinathi Hove Mpofu recently donated R1 000 in cash and reflectors for the neighbourhood watch committee towards an electrification project founded by residents in his ward.

Mpofu was the guest at the first meeting by the residents for the electricity installation programme that was held at Chakwana Grounds in Bulawayo.

“Through this small gesture we are encouraging other residents to take part in this electrification programme,” he said.

Residents said they founded the programme after failing to get any help to develop the infrastructure needed and had consulted ZESA on the way forward.

Cowdray Park segment 12 A committee chairperson Misheck Mathe said the programme was founded by residents after they had witnessed its successful implementation in other areas.

“We have seen that we can never develop if we do not make a move.

“The programme is going on with three phases that include the installation of electrical poles and the wires, the second phase will be of the electrical metals and the last phase will be of installing the transformers according to the mapping and numbers of the houses in the programme,” Mathe said.

He added that 315 residents were part of the programme and each member was required to pay US$176 for the electrical pole and wires with the figure going down as more members.

Cowdry Park was established in 2002 and faces many service delivery challenges including poor road servicing and potable water supply.

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Vendors’ association, ‘rogue’ leader clash over Magaya deal

“In an economy like ours would any bona fide vendor and informal trader agree to allow council to give land to any private investor for them to pay money as rentals?”

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A TURF war has erupted between the Chitungwiza Amalgamated Vendors and Informal Traders Association (CAVITA) founders and one of the directors who is accused of hijacking the association.

The director, Donald Makuvaza is alleged to be compromising CAVITA by pursuing personal interests after he once again publicly threw his weight behind a controversial investment project by Prophet Walter Magaya’s company in Chitungwiza.

Two of CAVITA founders who declined to be named told Zim Community News that they were not happy with the conduct of Donald Makuvaza following the leak of the controversial Chitungwiza Master Plan Memorandum of Understanding (MOA) with Wistmer Investments.

The leak of the MOA with Wistmer later led to the convening of an urgent meeting by councillors, who then rejected its contents.

The MOA seeks the establishment of a collaborative relationship between Council and Wistmer for the preparation of the Chitungwiza Master Plan.

Had the deal gone through Wistmer will have enjoyed “an exclusive and irrevocable Right of First Refusal to participate as the lead private partner for any Smart City Projects the Municipality intends to implement; and exclusive development rights to solely undertake Smart City Projects for an initial period of 10 years from the date of this Agreement”.

Makuvaza, who was among the vocal resident leaders after the controversial memorandum of agreement of the deal was leaked, is said to have made a sudden about-turn following a meeting with Magaya at his farm.

The sources added that Makuvaza who resides in the same neighborhood where Magaya was raised, was likely to be summoned to be cautioned on the issue.

“The issue is not of consulting Trustees and bringing the name of the trust into disrepute by pursuing his narrow interests at the expense of CAVITA.

“Does he think he is clever? In an economy like ours would any bona fide vendor and informal trader agree to allow council to give land to any private investor for them to pay money as rentals?”

CAVITA has three founding directors, but one is now deceased.

This follows a   press statement regarding the Wistmer and Chitungwiza Municipality Agreement that was issued by Makuvaza in which he refuted allegations that CAVITA was now sleeping in the same bed with Wistmer.

“We wish to clarify that CAVITA has not chosen a side in the negotiations between Wistmer and Chitungwiza Municipality. Our primary concern is the well-being and interests of the communities we represent. We remain committed to fostering transparency, fairness, and community participation in all discussions and agreements that affect our constituents.

Makuvaza added that Wistmer’s Smart City project would be beneficial to the community.

“As CAVITA our position still stands that the ambitious SMART project if implemented will be beneficial to our constituency and the community. We also believe that both parties have legal capacity to deal with the contents of the MOA document if there is anything to agree on.

Makuvaza refuted the allegations  and was evasive when asked on whether the statement represented the views of the whole board.

“The organisation is bigger than individuals and we focus on issues that affect our constituents.

“As long as it affects our relevant line of work we are called to duty.”

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Service Delivery

Chitungwiza dumps Magaya ‘donation’

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CHITUNGWIZA municipality has dumped Prophet Walter Magaya controversial’s deal after it was rejected during a hastily convened special council meeting held on the day the Memorandum of Agreement leaked.

The MOA sought the establishment of a collaborative relationship between Council and Wistmer for the preparation of the Chitungwiza Master Plan.

According to a letter to Wistmer Investments the acting town clerk, Japson Nemuseso said council had decided to reject the MOA following a special council meeting that was held on 8 April.

“The rejection of the Memorandum of Agreement was mainly based on the conditions that you set out in Article 1 paragraphs 1.1 to 1.5.

“Council is of the view that the donation should not have conditions.”

Irate residents had piled on pressure on council to reject the proposed deal that they said, if approved, would have mortgaged the town for 10 years to Wistmer Investments (Pvt) Ltd, a company owned by Magaya.

Residents were not happy with the contents of a leaked Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Chitungwiza and Wistmer Investments and feel betrayed by council for making such critical decisions without consulting them.

According to the MOA which is in possession of ZCN, if the deal had through Wistmer will have enjoyed “an exclusive and irrevocable Right of First Refusal to participate as the lead private partner for any Smart City Projects the Municipality intends to implement; and exclusive development rights to solely undertake Smart City Projects for an initial period of 10 years from the date of this Agreement”.

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Service Delivery

Chitown feels betrayed over Magaya ‘donation’

He added that the proposed agreement bars Council from applying Public Procurement and Corporate Act.

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Chra spokeperson Gift Kurupati

CHITUNGWIZA residents have expressed their anger over a controversial deal that, if approved, seeks to mortgage the town for 10 years to Wistmer Investments (Pvt) Ltd, Prophet Walter Magaya’s company.

Residents are not happy with the contents of a leaked Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Chitungwiza and Wistmer Investments and feel betrayed by their councilors who are making such critical decisions without consulting them.

The MOA seeks the establishment of a collaborative relationship between Council and Wistmer for the preparation of the Chitungwiza Master Plan.

According to the MOA which is in possession of ZCN, if the deal goes through Wistmer shall enjoy “an exclusive and irrevocable Right of First Refusal to participate as the lead private partner for any Smart City Projects the Municipality intends to implement; and exclusive development rights to solely undertake Smart City Projects for an initial period of 10 years from the date of this Agreement”.

A lawyer who is a resident in the town said that if the deal comes through in that form Chitungwiza Municipality  will be under the control and management of Magaya for 10 years.

He added that the proposed agreement bars Council from applying Public Procurement and Corporate Act.

 In other words this agreement supersedes Tendering procedures, also there are no commercial terms that clearly state what it is for Chitungwiza Municipality. Therein lies the catch, and its deliberate.

“Magaya’s company can demand as much land and or payments as he wants if they so wish and council can do nothing about it because there are no restrictions.

“Wistmer is the sole developer, no one else, not even council. Should council have its own Master Plan and Smart City concept it has to pass it to Magaya’s company first for ratification?

“He will demand his pound of flesh emanating from this agreement and can sit on it for 120 days deciding to refuse to give the municipality the go ahead.

Chitungwiza Progressive Residents Association spokesperson Gift Kurupati said the councillors  were no longer representing the interests of residents.

“We as Residents of Chitungwiza we are not happy about what is happening at Chitungwiza municipality, giving Wistmer Investments the right of first refusal would be an act of madness as Residents

Chitungwiza municipality is a public institution but they want privatize it through this MOA with Wistmer Investments actually what it means is the whole Chitungwiza municipality is now owned by Wistmer Investments

 Outspoken residents leader Marvellous Kumalo said that residents  have written a letter as stakeholders to council raising their concerns on the contents of that proposed memorandum.

Kumalo said that have also sent a copy of the MOA to lawyers for legal advise  and flag out issues of legal concern that are in that MOA

“We have gone through the proposed Memorandum of Agreement, the contents are shocking, and they are disgusting and are actually smelling in terms of the proposals from that private partner.

What we will also do is to be guided by the provisions of section 14 of the constitution which speaks to devolution of power and responsibility to lower tiers of government”

Kumalo said such issues are handled by councillors and residents will not accept a situation where the local authority hands over or surrenders its authority to central government.

 “Where in terms of every time we reach out to them in terms of being accountable and transparency then they introduce a hidden hand through surrendering their powers and responsibilities to central government and failing to account. That will not intimidate stakeholders.

The Chitungwiza Almalgated Vendors and Informal Traders Association has called for an urgent meeting with council to discuss the matter and explore potential solutions that prioritise all the parties involved

A well-placed source said that council officials are also worried about the way in which the

“This began as a donation, now some of the demands from Magaya’s company are too much.”

“At this stage, this is only an MOA,   we appeal to residents to be patient with us as we are working flat out to address the sticking points in this document.

Efforts to get a comment from Prophet Walter Magaya were fruitless at the time of going to print.

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