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    Sunday, 18 September 2016

    Bid to merge two Chikomba residents’ bodies flops



    ELLEN MLAMBO
    CHIVHU BUREAU

    CHIKOMBA
    – A bid by the Chikomba Residents' Association (CRA) to merge   with the Chikomba Residents and Ratepayers' Alliance (CHIRRA) through a joint election held at Chivhu Community Hall last week has flopped.
    Council recently advised and directed that the two bodies merge as the local authority preferred to work with one united body.
    However, many residents are of the view that CRA is council lap dog formed by the local authority to counter and dilute CHIRRA.
    CRA is also said to be a Zanu PF project and there seemed to be confirmation where its elections were conducted by a ruling party provincial member.
     CHIRRA was formed a month ago by leading members of the community but when council heard of this development it rushed and formed CRA.
    Two weeks ago CHIRRA executives were shocked when they went to introduce themselves to the council board to be told that there was another body formed to serve the same purpose.
    A council official who is supposed not to interfere with the activities of the residents because of conflict of interest and professional dictates openly told CHIRRA executive during the meeting that the organization must work with CRA or the local authority was not going to entertain them.
    CHIRRA which is headed by Colen Zvarevashe as chairman rejected the imposition of that decision on them by council.
    Last week CRA then wrote a letter to CHIRRA organizing secretary inviting members to a meeting where executive members would be elected for the joint body. Only a handful of CHIRRA members attended but did not participate in the deliberations of the meeting.
    CHIRRA's Zvarevashe said his organization did not attend the meeting because like any legitimate residents' representative body, it did not take instructions from council.
    He said that the invitation letter that he received from CRA indicated that the elections were being held in line with the council directive to merge the two bodies.
    "Council has no right to lecture us on the composition or formation of residents' associations. Council must get it clear that we are here to provide checks and balances on it and not to become an extension of the local authority.
    "We represent the interests of residents who are the employers of the council secretariat and we check on the elected representatives, the councilors to see if they are carrying out the mandate that they were given by the people. We therefore cannot be instructed by those who are the servants of the residents," said Zvarevashe.
    Meanwhile CRA elected Paul Muzira as its chairman, the vice chairperson is Tafara Chiteva, Abigal Masuka is the secretary, Fungai Mamvura is the vice secretary, Shamiso Chikuku is the treasurer, Chipo Mudzinge head of information and publicity and two committee members are Trust Gomo and Josia Makombe. Muzira said the association is for the residents and this was evidenced by the elections that it conducted.
    "Authentic elections of executive members were done hence our association is a people chosen association. It is also not politically affiliated," he said.
    Muzira also said they will work hand in hand with all stakeholders in enhancing development in the district.
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