Harare’s Provincial Development Coordinator Tafadzwa Muguti embodies the idea of a frenetic bureaucrat who is all over the place.
He is plugging holes, pushing off invaders, kicking out lodgers and asserting existent and non-existent power.
Muguti is hitting out at anything contrary, accomodating no middle ground or neutrals.
Its the approach of a zealot who may not last the distance in this country’s time-warped path.
Over time he is a danger to himself.
The Law and Lives
His exuberance and pointed mission swagger in dispensing duties is a frothing island of action in an otherwise bland sea where everything died ages ago.
That is why you find illegal traders fighting against clear laws. The illegalities have become a new fact that is accepted and recognised.
That is why you still find protected land barons conniving with elected politicians. They know where real power lies.
Whereas the PDC has gone theoretical and legal in his work, the residents are fuming using practical realities of the Zimbabwean situation.
Whilst Muguti is pontificating against land barons, you still have the Uchena Land Commission report hidden for political reasons, betraying insincerity somewhere.
Its a huge warning sign about Muguti’s supposed comrades in arms.
Going Against the Grain, Vainly
Muguti has overseen demolitions of people’s houses armed with laws and statutes.
However the same people were allocated those stands by his bosses.
The same people were facilitated to take over trading places by their political parties as compensation for mobilising supporters and funds.
In Mbare some Council places are currently under the control of known ZANU PF members.
The owners know that when campaign time comes around they need to mobilise people for the party leaders.
It’s a known political fact that at specific points in time certain parties disregard the law and any fundamentalist bureaucrats so as to please and canvass support.
These are political arrangements that observe no law or recognise no PDC. In actual fact they will outstay him.
The arrangement and situation is an unhealthy fact of the country’s politics as cultivated by ZANU PF.
The Road to Nowhere
Whilst Muguti is revelling in the sanitised comfort of dispensing duties as defined in his job resume the practical facts on the ground are not structured to accommodate him.
The environment he is trying to create has no place in the economy his bosses have created.
The Zimbabwe economy by its impulsive nature will continue spouting informal traders.
With no infrastructure from which to operate in they will bloom anywhere and everywhere.
The current housing backlog for Harare alone is above a million.
All these are people who urgently need houses and stands.
Whilst the central government has a vacuum of ideas, failing to come up with plans, nature has filled that vacuum.
Land barons are all over the place selling land and desperate residents are building all over the place.
Over time it becomes impossible to remove those people.
In Retreat, Waterfalls a new location is growing by the day with stands sold on roadsides. The same is happening in various areas of Chitungwiza and Harare.
Norton is messy friction between land barons and swindled residents in misnamed areas like Kingsdale, Trafalgar and Marshlands.
Ultimately, demolitions cannot be a solution and Muguti cannot solely be a reactive bureaucrat lurking with eviction and demolition orders.
The solution to all these plights is a change beyond the PDC’s office, a need for a plan that will stop the growth of illegal settlements and traders.
The need for a solution that will accommodate informal traders in legally recognised places.
Whilst Muguti may be climbing over everything, residents and NGO’s, shouting for order, sanity can only be found once the central government acts proper.
The danger is that in the meantime his excited ways, legal or not, will make some unfortunate souls suffer.