Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda last week told a council meeting that Home Affairs co-minister and MP for the area, Theresa Makone, recently initiated efforts to complete the construction of the school which has been pending for a long time now.
Masunda said Makone, whose portfolio includes overseeing the police force, had to retreat after she was confronted by militant Zanu PF supporters.
Masunda said Makone and Local Government, Urban and Rural Development Minister Ignatious Chombo last week paid him an unscheduled visit where they spent more than an hour discussing the issue.
“There are people who have been trying to politicise issues around that school together with a market in the area, which not only poses a traffic problem but also a health hazard,” Masunda said.
Deputy Mayor and councillor for the area Emmanuel Chiroto reportedly accompanied Makone to Hatcliffe to see the incomplete school and the undesignated market with the intention of assisting in the projects.
But Zanu PF supporters allegedly blocked them, saying that they represented a government whose term of office would expire on February 15, and they would revert back to being opposition members.
Masunda said 14 council employees sent to assess the situation were briefly detained in the process.
A classroom block was abandoned at window level due to lack of funds in 2002.
“There is no alternative school for our little children in this area so they have to walk long distances to Hatcliffe One and Hatcliffe Two primary schools,” one resident said.
“But this is difficult for the Grade Ones and many of them are always absent from school.
“The authorities in the other schools do not give priority to our children and many of them fail to get places.”
Chombo said Zanu PF was not blocking Makone from initiating any projects because it was a pro-development party which also recognises Makone’s mandate to initiate projects for the area as an MP.
“The people spreading those lies must be MDC supporters bent on tarnishing the good image of the party led by His Excellency the President (Robert Mugabe) and commander of the Defence Forces,” Chombo said.
“The First Lady (Grace Mu-gabe) gave money for the construction of that school and if Mai Makone wants to assist with its completion that is well and good because she has the mandate to initiate projects on behalf of the people.”
Chombo said he had discussed the issue with Makone, Masunda, senior officials in his ministry and Education, Sport, Arts and Culture minister David Coltart and all was “going well”.