Mnangagwa Initiates Inquiry into Harare City Council Governance

Commission to Probe Financial Management, Compliance Issues

by Ikeoluwa Ogungbangbe

President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe has officially appointed a retired judge, Justice Maphios Cheda, to lead a comprehensive investigation into the governance practices of the Harare City Council. This commission of inquiry, set up under the Commissions of Inquiry Act [Chapter 10:07], reflects the president’s commitment to addressing public welfare concerns through transparent and accountable local governance.

The official notification providing further details about this decision emphasizes that the President, using his authority, views this investigation as essential to evaluating the governance processes that have molded Harare’s local government since 2017. The Commission has appointed the Secretary for Local Government and Public Works as its representative. The Commission has been given six months to complete its investigation, with an additional three months if needed.

The Commission has a broad scope that covers several important aspects of the City Council’s daily activities. The examination will focus on the council’s financial management, specifically on how revenue is managed through special vehicle corporations and outsourcing agreements. Examining the absence of an Enterprise Resource Plan implementation will be a key component of the inquiry, which is vital for integrating internal and external management information across an entire organization.

In addition, the investigation will cover the processes related to the administration, leasing, sale, or gift of council properties to private organizations. In light of the possibility of conflicts of interest and the improper use of public funds, this line of inquiry is quite important. In order to make sure council sessions adhere to legal and regulatory requirements, their scheduling and procedural conduct will also be closely examined.

Another important foundation of our study is compliance with procurement regulations. Enforcing compliance with the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act [Chapter 22:23], which regulates asset disposal and procurement regulations, is the Commission’s responsibility. The Harare City Council is subject to this act. This is a major area of concern since procurement procedures are frequently corrupted and ineffective.

The Commission has been given the authority to call witnesses, visit sites as needed, record all hearings and testimony, and more in order to achieve its objectives. This meticulous procedure aims to collect a wide range of information and perspectives, which will be essential in developing conclusions and suggestions. In the end, the Commission is supposed to finish the investigation and send President Mnangagwa a thorough report in three months.

The goal of this study is to advance reforms that improve accountability, openness, and efficiency in local government, not only to audit previous activities. The investigation’s goal is to promote a more reliable and efficient government that can better serve Harare’s citizens by tackling these governance-related concerns.

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