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State-Appointed Harare Commission Likely To Stay In Place - Minister

Local Authority and Housing Minister Ignatius Chombo has said that he will maintain the commission that runs Harare, raising the ire of residents of the capital who have chafed at central government rule and are angry over the deterioration of services.

Chombo told state television Wednesday that incumbent members of the commission “may be” reappointed depending on their performance to date. He did not say whether the commission’s chairwoman, Sekesayi Makwavarara, who has drawn fire from civic groups over her performance in the job, would be reappointed.

The government named Makwavarara to the post in 2004 after firing then-mayor Elias Mudzuri. Her term has been renewed three times over the objections of residents, the extension of the commission's mandate being in June of this year.

The Combined Harare Residents Association has harshly criticized Makwavara. But CHRA membership committee chairman Joseph Rose told reporter Patience Rusere that the main concern is not whether Makavarara is held over in the post, but that elections be held so that citizens of Harare can choose their own local officials.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 For Zimbabwe...