In recent past there have been various comments in the media following the suspension of the Mayor of Harare, Cllr. Ben Manyenyeni allegedly for not complying with an instruction from the Minister of Local Government to conduct an audit of the subsidiary Companies owned by the City and in particular the entities responsible for parking services.
This allegation is totally false and the Minister is well aware of this fact.
The MDC would like to correct persistent defamatory allegations against the Mayor of Harare, Cllr Ben Manyenyeni, who is currently facing malicious persecution and successive suspensions from office by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.
For the purpose of clarity we wish to confirm the following facts which can be fully substantiated:
- The Mayor of Harare is a Non-Executive Mayor: we note with regret the selective ignorance of this fundamental position in the current victimisation of the elected Mayor.
- We wish to confirm that all of the Mayor’s actions in the matters being discussed were adopted by the full Council and in no way represented his personal decisions.
- The Mayor’s second suspension, coming only a day after he returned to office from an expired suspension, is based on the allegation of failing to deal with an external audit called for by the Minister of Local Government.
- The true position is that the Mayor actually committed Council to the implementation of the Ministerial directive within just 3 days of receiving the letter from the Minister. (It should be noted that these ministerial directives, themselves, are blatantly unconstitutional and are subject of a legal challenge lodged with the Constitutional Court by the MDC who are waiting for the Court to set a date for the hearing.)
- Because the entities involved fall under separate Boards of Directors, the Harare City Council, correctly, directed that the decision to conduct the audit be directed to the Boards of the respective companies.
- This is position the Mayor formally communicated to the holding company Chairman with further recorded communication that the audits proceed under the Holding Companies Board.
For the record it is quoted that the Mayor wrote, with foresight, the following in a letter: “The guiding feature of this development is that Harare City Council, as the shareholder is not directly responsible for the audit of subsidiary ventures hence the re-directing of the matter to the Harare Sunshine City Holdings Board. We however would incur a huge deficit of goodwill if we (either as HSH or HCC) are seen to be refusing an independent review.” An issue that is also worth correcting is that while the directive to undertake the audits was based on the Minister’s assertion that the commercial entities were not being audited regularly.
The reality is that thesesubsidiary companies were being audited annually and were actually years ahead of theexternal audits of Harare City Council itself.
- In a letter to the Acting Mayor of Harare dated 4th May 2016 the Minister acknowledges the Mayor’s instruction to the Chairman of the Council-owned entities and we quote:
“I am led to believe that the suspended Mayor had given an instruction that the audit takes place but this was over-ridden by the Business Committee Chairman”
It is therefore most surprising that the Minister has illegally suspended the Mayor on allegations which his own letter confirms to be untrue.
- The Mayor who, among other responsibilities, has a 30-year career in financial services with high levels of financial reporting and compliance takes great exception to the damage being inflicted by this persecution. He reserves the right to seek redress from all parties contributing to this damage to his personal and professional reputation.
We condemn in the strongest terms the treatment of the elected Mayor of Harare in general and specifically the peddling of wrong information which casts aspersions on the integrity of Cllr Ben Manyenyeni.
MDC: Equal Opportunities for All