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Abstract

The state of the city of Harare in terms of its present general outlook and critical analysis of its carrying capacity as a colonial city tends to perpetuate an ingrained myth among urban planners and the common people alike that planning has failed the former so called sunshine-city. Yet such a view treats with amnesia the wealth in the elasticity of planning as an instrument for change as well as a strategic force to command and direct the trajectory of cities. It is in this context that this paper discusses the elasticity of planning of Harare as anchored on a complex but well-knit constellation of the factors of good urban governance and political will. These can allow for urban reform and smart transformation. A close look at the city after 1980 shows that the city of Harare has been subjected to much bickering, contestations and intergovernmental impositions of policy hence it exemplifies policy from above as opposed to policy from below. This is largely explained by the central government's hard and fast wrenching control in directing the affairs of the city hence negating the role of the residents' needs and wants. Recently the city has been facing several challenges, more than ever before, and the more critical challenge now is the adopted culture of colonial blaming rather that solving the deep seated problems of poor management approaches. The present study is skewed towards assessing the historical and contemporary socio-economic and political dynamics as far as they have inspired, championed, ignored, and arm-twisted planning. This has largely been to the detriment of the city. Thus, a vortex and maelstrom over the relevance of planning has been created which now requires planning to exonerate itself by proving its worthiness to the citizens and investors whose creeds and needs it has betrayed over the years.
19
International review for spatial planning and sustainable development, Vol.2 No.4 (2014), 19-29
ISSN: 2187-3666 (online)
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14246/irspsd.2.4_19
Copyright@SPSD Press from 2010, SPSD Press, Kanazawa
Unexplored Elasticity of Planning and Good
Governance in Harare, Zimbabwe
Innocent Chirisa1* , Shingai T Kawadza2 and Archimedes Muzenda1
1 University of Zimbabwe
2 Urban Development Corporation (UDCORP)
* Corresponding Author, Email: chirisa.innocent@gmail.com
Received 1 November, 2013; Accepted 25 April 2014
Key words: Colonialism, Elasticity, Governance, Spatial Planning
Abstract: The state of the city of Harare in terms of its present general outlook and
critical analysis of its carrying capacity as a colonial city tends to perpetuate an
ingrained myth among urban planners and the common people alike that
planning has failed the former so called sunshine-city. Yet such a view treats
with amnesia the wealth in the elasticity of planning as an instrument for
change as well as a strategic force to command and direct the trajectory of
cities. It is in this context that this paper discusses the elasticity of planning of
Harare as anchored on a complex but well-knit constellation of the factors of
good urban governance and political will. These can allow for urban reform
and smart transformation. A close look at the city after 1980 shows that the
city of Harare has been subjected to much bickering, contestations and
intergovernmental impositions of policy hence it exemplifies policy from
above as opposed to policy from below. This is largely explained by the
central government’s hard and fast wrenching control in directing the affairs of
the city hence negating the role of the residents’ needs and wants. Recently the
city has been facing several challenges, more than ever before, and the more
critical challenge now is the adopted culture of colonial blaming rather that
solving the deep seated problems of poor management approaches. The
present study is skewed towards assessing the historical and contemporary
socio-economic and political dynamics as far as they have inspired,
championed, ignored, and arm-twisted planning. This has largely been to the
detriment of the city. Thus, a vortex and maelstrom over the relevance of
planning has been created which now requires planning to exonerate itself by
proving its worthiness to the citizens and investors whose creeds and needs it
has betrayed over the years.
1. INTRODUCTION
Cities of the developing world are succumbing to the effects of rapid
urbanization that are resulting in an unfolding urban composition,
metamorphosing its classifications, urban forms and their inherent
limitations thereby revealing a seemingly limitless expansion of the urban
area (Ijagbemi, 2003; Viana, 2009; UNHABITAT, 2009). With the agenda
of planning from a colonial town to a megacity, the process escapes any
simplistic notion of territoriality, where the town expands to its seams
thereby captivating continuously the peri-urban interface, creating and
modifying urban typologies, which are fragmented and interconnected in a
problematic manner. Thus Viana (2009) notes that growing cities, like any
20 IRSPSD International, Vol.2 No.4 (2014), 19-29
other African city, consider various experiences as well as complex social
layers that do not fall into sectarian urban proposals. As the huge influx of
population migrate from the rural areas as well as natural population
increases, more space to settle is demanded and planning becomes a key
tool, which always faces mammoth challenges in practice.
There is a need for clear institutional forms to foster a sense of
community, stability and faith in the future or else the city runs on a
treadmill (Simone, 2002). As well, corruption deepens poverty by distorting
political, economic and social life (Eigen, 2005). Corruption in urban
governance means that decisions are done more for private benefit than
public interest. Lack of participation in urban governance by citizens meant
that the poor did not have a choice in determining their own development
needs and priorities. Indeed, bureaucratic, complex and non-transparent
municipal administrative practices often lead to lower revenues, which result
in less spending on social programmes to benefit the poor (Mhlahlo, 2007).
Non-transparent land allocation practices push the poor to the urban
periphery and hazardous areas, depriving them of secure access to major
productive urban assets (Rondenelli, 1990). In this scenario, governance is
the panacea. The governance platform is based on the idea of the “social
contract”, as expressed by Munzwa and Jonga (2010). In this arrangement,
the government and the local authorities make a social contract with its
people on service delivery and the contract implies that the governed agree
to be ruled in good faith of their authorities towards the protection of their
properties, rights and happiness.
To become better cities, urban governance structures are needed to
ensure that the urban environment they create and maintain for their citizens
is socially just, ecologically sustainable, politically participatory,
economically productive and culturally vibrant (Magnusson, 2006). While
the Eastern model professes that democratization is the product of
development, the western model sees democratization as its basis. It is in
African cities that the unresolved issue between democratization and
development is being fought out. The two models of development and the
conflicts between them reflect on urban governance (Knebel and Kolhatkar,
2009).
Most local governments in Africa are cash-strapped, generating little or
no local resources and never getting enough to deliver on the millennium
programmes. Two fundamental shifts are needed if the Millennium
Development Goals are to be delivered by 2015. The first one is that local
governments must be properly resourced both financially and technically.
Secondly, they need to be truly local by being fully accountable and
transparent to the people they serve (Chirisa, 2012).
Harare, like other African countries, as put by Viana (2009) is in a
current condition of transition that is fragmented and uncoordinated in social
and spatial terms, and makes clear the conflict for and against difference and
plurality. The extensive growth and the expansion of the city’s
administrative boundaries reflect changes in the form and lifestyle of the
citizens, which occur often, leading to change in its present urban condition
of urban chameleonism (ibid.). Thus, the linear urban syntax, sequential and
structured that expressed many of the urban narratives of colonial origin,
became a hypertext (Viana, 2009) marked by unpredictability, difference,
uncertainty, ideological and financial problems, despotism, liberalisation of
markets, alignment of interests and the crisis of values in the community
within the context of expanding cities, thereby putting planning in the
limelight as a failing approach. As the city grows from a colonial system,
Innocent Chirisa, Shingai T Kawadza , Archimedes Muzenda 21
several urban challenges emerge, which calls for robust planning
intervention. Hence, it requires an analytical understanding of the city’s
history to determine the way forward.
This paper, therefore, assesses the historical and contemporary socio-
economic and political dynamics as far as they have inspired, championed,
ignored, and side-lined or arm-twisted planning largely to the detriment of
Harare. It argues that a quagmire and flurry over the relevance of planning
has been created which now requires planning to vindicate itself by proving
its worthiness to the citizens and investors whose creeds and needs it has
betrayed over the years.
2. THE CONTEXT OF HARARE’S EXISTENCE
For one to fully understand and delineate contemporary urbanism and
conventional urbanization processes of the city of Harare, it is inevitable to
cite the existence of pre-colonial Zimbabwe’s urbanity and consequential
trends. Munzwa and Jonga (2010) have stated categorically that Harare’s
urban development history is rooted in colonialism. Be that as it may, one
cannot discuss urbanization without referring to colonization and its impacts
as colonization witnessed a new socio-political and economic dispensation
(Wekwete, 1994).
The settler occupation era in Zimbabwe was characterized by a high rural
population and Salisbury (now Harare) emerged when the settlershope for
minerals went below expectation. Consolidating the colonization process,
the economic activities of the settlers established supportive infrastructure
such as roads, railway lines and telegram lines, a sign of establishing
permanent settlement (Rakodi, 1995). Wekwete (1994) also notes that
construction of various infrastructures was a sign of permanence as the water
and sewer reticulation infrastructure developed was non-transferable,
thereby establishing Fort Salisbury. Categorically, the era which spans
between 1890 and 1939, was the establishment phase of colonial domination
where the settlers speculated about the investment opportunities around
Salisbury, now Harare. Rakodi (1995) explicates that with higher mineral
expectations, the settlers were frustrated by the scarce minerals found and
therefore developed a permanent settlement directed towards manufacturing.
The second phase noted by Wekwete (1994), between 1940 and 1952, was
an era of Salisbury expansion and intensification. During the post-1945
epoch, Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia) witnessed the development of
its manufacturing industry and the government became supportive of the
initiative. Hence, the manufacturing industry lured high urban expansion just
as during the British industrial revolution experience. This led to the
establishment of settler populated suburbs such as Malbereign based on the
Radburn garden city concept and Davison (2002) also explains the
expansion of accommodation into the subdivision of Mount Pleasant farms
in order to accommodate the settlers.
The Federation epoch was another critical urban development era in
Zimbabwe. It covered the period from 1953 to 1965 (Munzwa and Jonga,
2010). Rakodi (1995) notes that during the 1950s and early 1960s, there
were government efforts to spread the benefits of the federation to Southern
Rhodesia where encouraged the mining capital’s diversification into
manufacturing, foreign investment and large scale borrowing towards
investing into the urban infrastructure. As the manufacturing sector
22 IRSPSD International, Vol.2 No.4 (2014), 19-29
expanded, industry and finance sectors concentrated in Salisbury witnessed
an increase in construction activity and the changing form of the central
business district. There was a restricted market size for manufactured
commodities and limited expansion of production. Federalism witnessed the
channelling of financial resources into property development for commercial
and financial institutions. This led to high property prices in the central
business district, outstripping and outlasting those for residential and
industrial land and buildings (Rakodi, 1995). In the now Harare, the end of
the speculative boom was followed by the breakup of the federation.
The ushering in of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) by
Ian Smith (Former Prime Minister of Rhodesia, 1965-1979) saw the country
facing international trade sanctions. Such developments ensued in a crisis of
confidence, and led to the first collapse in land prices and a virtual halt to
new private construction (Rakodi, 1995). This resulted in a turnaround in the
construction of private infrastructure which was halted during the expansion
of the urban centre. With a growing labour force to cater for the expanding
manufacturing sector, and where industrialists faced increased costs of
accommodating the indigenous workforce, there was a relaxation of the
prohibition of home ownership and government encouragement to building
societies to lend to the indigenous population (Rakodi, 1995). Thus, in terms
of private housing during the federation era, the promulgation of the
Building Societies Act in 1951 saw this period reaping gains as the demand
for housing grew with the growing population in urban centres. It also
witnessed the construction of several service delivery infrastructures such as
the University of Zimbabwe, Harare and Mpilo Hospital among others.
However, the urban development being discussed here refers to the settlers
only, as indigenous people were not accommodated at this time in the non-
African towns and were being absorbed only in partiality of labour force
need (Munzwa and Jonga, 2010).
It must be stressed that during the UDI period, economic planning was
based on an import substitution strategy and there were a lot of inward
looking and introspective approaches to the overall development of Harare.
Wekwete (1994) notes the legacy of controls, which attributes Zimbabwe
today to this phase of economic development. He notes that Harare
experienced the highest rate of increased housing stock due to vigorous stand
development between 1965 and 1971. This witnessed the housing of
indigenous people in what they called African townships around Harare and
led to the outward expansion of Harare. Such remarkable urban expansion
called for adequate urban service provision to keep pace with the increasing
populations, for example, clean water provision, power, garbage collection
and disposal, public transportation and other social services (Chirisa, 2007;
Munzwa, and Jonga, 2010).
Making a legislative adjustment, the land apportionment act was replaced
by the land tenure act and this had several implications whereby indigenous
peoples’ housing areas were designated in what were considered to be
European urban areas and attempts were made to concentrate indigenous
people in these districts. Rakodi (1995) even highlights that after the 1969
census the number of indigenous urbanites exceeded those of settlers in the
highlands area which led to the development of Mabvuku and Tafara to re-
house the indigenous population and municipal regulations were passed
forbidding employers to house non-employees. The mid 1970s witnessed an
escalation of a struggle for independence, which led to an influx of refugees
into the capital from the rural areas. Realizing this there was the enactment
of a municipal transit camp at Musika near Mbare and thus Harare became
Innocent Chirisa, Shingai T Kawadza , Archimedes Muzenda 23
consolidated with both European and indigenous populations in an
expansionary way as an urban hub with several employment opportunities.
The post-independence epoch (1980 to date) witnessed a vigorous de-
racialization of the urban system as well as a huge influx of rural population
into the city (Munzwa and Jonga 2010; Tibaijuka, 2005). There was a move
to de-racialize the urban system as well as facilitating free movement of the
indigenous majority into the city hence pushing the notion of a one city
concept. Realizing the lifting of urban movement control, there was a
remarkable flow of rural population into the urban centres in search for
better lives. Wekwete (1994) has noted that urban areas were very attractive
as a result of a better social life and employment opportunities in comparison
to rural life. This era witnessed the indigenous majority manipulating the
urban space where residential development expanded to accommodate the
rural migrants. Administratively, there was a replacement by the indigenous
authorities of colonial local authorities, where in practice of their colonial
correction era they overstayed their honeymoon (Dube and Chirisa, 2012;
Chirisa, 2009). Like other African cities, Harare became a city of people of
all occupations calling for expanded infrastructure provision.
While the local authorities were celebrating independence, at the same
time overstaying their honeymoon, Harare was catching fire over the failure
of planning to cope with immigration. Little changes were embarked on as
far as spatial planning is concerned thereby the population stressed the
infrastructure which had been designed for a small population. Regardless of
being unchained from colonial yokes, colonial legislation still governs the
city’s planning system. Hence the planning system failed to move to a
people oriented planning approach and continued a draconic way of
governing the city which initiates policies from above as opposed to policies
from below. To adjust from the colonial system to a more rational system,
the government of Zimbabwe overcompensated to the extent of getting into a
situation of adjusting to fail and it imposed intense damages on city
development.
Since there was an inheritance of a dualist economy, to address the
colonial imbalances the government embarked on a socialist approach by
adopting policies such as Growth with Equity of 1981, Transitional
Development Plans and the First Five Year National Development Plans
(Dube and Chirisa, 2012). This led to budget deficits of the Harare local
authority, a situation which led to the council losing its borrowing capacity,
failing to pay its own expenses thereby failing to adjust. To date, the city has
been facing quite a number of challenges, more than ever before, and the
critical challenge now is the culture adopted of pointing fingers at
colonization and the much popularized economic sanctions rather that
solving the deep seated problems of poor management approaches. This
provokes the question of why government, when governance is the way to
go? With difficulties in answering that it leads to a journey of endless
problems that unveils the urban management system where there are doubts
on whether to give planning another chance for trust building or not. Much
blame has been given to the city management system as well as its planning
instruments as noted in Box 1, but why the failure to adjustment? The results
of the failure to adjust, which all literally led to adjusting to fail, has led to
the loss of the city’s treasures it had during its early years, which in turn has
led to it being labelled a nostalgic sunshine city.
Most of the residents now live without hope of city regeneration from the
shambles it has fallen into, where infrastructure has fallen apart in its
24 IRSPSD International, Vol.2 No.4 (2014), 19-29
attempts to serve the massive urban population. This has led to insecurities
in tenure; issues surrounding livelihood and even personal safety have
caused residents to become reluctant to invest in participatory city planning
as the management systems are non-accommodative to residents’
participation.
Box 1: Harare city’s management failure
There is an imploration of Harare City Council to refine their management style
in order to address the critical water supply situation.
New approaches are required to meet the demands of the capital’s growing
population.
The infrastructure of the city was designed to cater for one million people only;
the city now houses over three million people.
Poor management and planning by the City of Harare are largely to blame.
By 1993, the service provision capacity of Harare was outstripped in the face of a
growing population.
Proper planning and finance are required.
Prioritisation of service delivery and value for money to ratepayers are critical.
The council is owed a lot of money by Government, other local authorities and
ratepayers.
Source: (The Sunday Mail, 2013)
The period after independence witnessed a common abundance of urban
challenges, which irked loudly for elastic intervention. Harare has become a
quandary of environmental challenges, including pollution, degradation of
resources and urban informality that has been termed ruralization of the
urban (Munzwa and Jonga, 2010). Due to the huge influx of migrants into
the city, Harare has been loosely accommodating the population sprawling
into the seams of its boundaries (Chirisa, 2008; Munzwa and Jonga, 2010).
This has led to a situation similar to the American mistake of promoting
suburbia, a concept that created cities that never worked with sustainability.
Uncontrolled movement of the rural population to the urban areas witnessed
the exacerbation of urban poverty where the residents, in search of survival,
have lost stewardship of the city thereby leading to the degradation of the
urban environments and abuse of urban infrastructure in an unchecked
system. These hardships justify the increased rate in urban crime, the
resorting of the “urbanites” to the ventures of the informal sector, and, in the
case of housing, the manifestations of alternatives like multi-habitation,
squatter camps and informal land subdivisions. In addition, there has been
the remarkable challenge of ruralisation of the city because of poor service
delivery (Munzwa and Jonga, 2010). This has led to the situation of urban
residents becoming escapees to the urban periphery, which also creates
another challenge of urban sprawl. In the process of ruralization, the urban
residents have become multi-actors in their life being peasants or
entrepreneurs, in a situation that has turned the urban syntax informal.
Shanoon, Kleniewski et al. (2002) repose that urban poverty has not
persisted but it has increased.
Innocent Chirisa, Shingai T Kawadza , Archimedes Muzenda 25
Wekwete (1992) points out that a poor management system of urban
local authorities has left urban dwellers living in offensive conditions that
are demeaning, demoralizing and debilitating. The city municipals
themselves carry a host of challenges from lack of transparency, corruption,
general mismanagement, financial bankruptcy and an inability to develop
and maintain existing infrastructure, as well as a failure to attract investment
opportunities. The city is now experiencing challenges that aggravate both
the rich and the poor, where a massive housing backlog persists and has led
to several housing challenges, including from squatter expansion, to rampant
traffic congestion which has been calling loud for planning intervention.
Munzwa and Jonga (2010) note how Harare is facing rapid population
growth accompanied by de-industrialization, a combination of which forms
an informal calamity. Trialling management system approaches, urban
councils have been the leading figures demeaning governance. It is further
stated that the serious shortage of finances has an impact on any reforms that
may be adopted. The resuscitation of infrastructure and the provision of
clean water and adequate housing largely depend on the availability of
funds. The City Council is mandated to reform its financial systems in order
to create more revenue and eradicate corruption and general financial
mismanagement. The introduction of new forms of budgeting, like
performance budgeting and participatory budgeting, may be of benefit to the
communities and other stakeholders. Recently the involvement of the
stakeholders and communities has been a good principle of good governance
because the intended beneficiaries have become part of the decision-making
(Munzwa and Jonga, 2010). In summary, Harare has become a hub of all
sorts of problems that an urban centre can carry and the little efforts by the
authorities to address them have been an exacerbating factor, pointing to the
failings of the governance system.
3. PLANNING: THE PROMISE, THE BETRAYAL
AND THE MISSING LINK IN HARARE
Overstaying their independence, the planning authorities caused an
accumulation of urban problems over time. While local planning authorities
took heed of planning for the people, they had lost the voice of their people
and thereby neglected participatory planning approaches. While the
independence afterward sought for colonial corrective measures of equality,
they lost out due to a situation culminating in indigenous dualism, a failing
planning system, centrism management approaches lacking residents’
participation, and the consequence of planning being labelled a failure.
Realizing the technocratic characteristic of planning as well as the political
nature of urbanism, planning has become a facilitating arm of political
practice.
In Harare, there has been no proper upholding of rights, liberty and
equality within the planning system, hence the breach of the promise and
social contract which calls for planning reform. It is therefore important to
question, ‘are the urban problems in Harare so extreme that the cities and
towns need to change their rulers?’ Then, ‘would the new rulers do a better
job in service delivery?’ These questions are difficult to get specific answers
to. What can be portrayed here is only the opinion that the politics,
governance and institutional behaviours had terribly deteriorated in Harare.
26 IRSPSD International, Vol.2 No.4 (2014), 19-29
On the same note, the economic meltdown of Zimbabwe rendered most of
the councils un-creditworthy to both local and international financial
institutions and this led to a fall in the borrowing power of urban councils in
the hands of central government, jeopardizing service delivery and rational
decision-making (Jonga and Chirisa, 2009).
3.1 Building confidence: giving planning another chance
Overall, urban finance, investment attraction, urban good governance and
the political will to allow for urban reform and smart transformation are
essential. Good governance is characterized as being “... participatory,
consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and
efficient, equitable and inclusive and following the rule of law. It assures
that corruption is minimized, the views of minorities are taken into account
and that the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-
making (Keiner, Koll-Schretzenmayr, et al. 2006). Its focus is
“sustainability” where the present and future needs of society are treated as
sine qua non (Munzwa and Jonga, 2010). One of the crucial elements of
good governance is the collection, accountability and transparent
management of public funds (municipality funds). Currently, because of
political deterioration and the economic meltdown, almost every city is
suffering from budget deficits or inadequate financial resources for
development, general administration and infrastructure maintenance. For the
city, to borrow from the city administrations, it has to be creditworthy.
Creditworthiness is an attribute that is attained through the development of
good financial management, like proper budgeting, control of funds, periodic
accurate reporting, and properly written books of accounts, additionally
urban councils as political institutions must tolerate diverse opinions. If these
diverse political opinions and freedoms are suppressed, news beliefs and
behaviours are hindered and it means the valves releasing pressure caused by
change will tighten to the disadvantage of development agents in the urban
communities. This has stifled visions for future developments (Munzwa and
Jonga, 2010).
3.2 Learning from others as panacea
There have been rebuttals on whether to adopt the Western (European)
models of urban development or the Eastern (Asian) models of urban
development where the western models regard democratization as the basis
of development whilst the eastern models regard democratization as a by-
product of development. A comparative exploration gives an insight on the
paths to follow towards gaining back planning lustre. For instance, in 2001
the Indonesian government introduced laws on decentralization and regional
autonomy that led to a shift in service delivery. Changes in municipal
management such as modifying planning, programming, budgeting and
financial management procedures have helped local government become
more responsive, participative, transparent and accountable to citizen’s
needs. This process has been supported by the UNDP’s Breakthrough Urban
Initiatives for Local Development (BUILD) programme. Ten core guiding
principles for good local governance were established (participation, rule of
law, transparency, equality, vision, accountability, supervision, efficiency
and professionalism) which were later adopted by the Association of
Municipalities at their annual meeting. During the meeting, participants
Innocent Chirisa, Shingai T Kawadza , Archimedes Muzenda 27
agreed that “the welfare of the people constitutes the most important
objective for achieving sustainable development, to bring relief to those in
poverty, who are disempowered, and who are dispossessed socially”
(UNHABITAT, 2009:17).
4. THE WAY FORWARD
It is clear that for Harare to remain financially solvent and bring back its
glamour, there is the need to change its development patterns and the way
the city is being governed. As we near the expiry of the Millennium
Development Goals (MGDs)1 in 2015, the verity that poverty and financial
crisis in Harare need to be arrested cannot be overlooked. Calls for finding
new ways of spatial urban planning in a sustainable form remain the only
option. The city of Harare needs to take a leading role making Harare one of
the best cities in the region and the world at large. The city needs to sustain
the pressure stemming from the current global financial crisis, which has
paralyzed market solutions to many urban problems around the world.
Harare has to acclimatize more still with the reality of urbanization and its
physical manifestations which are often complex and require collaborative
and participatory approaches.
The challenges of practicing good governance remain a huge task in
Harare. As such, there is a need of spatial policies that can curtail the wrath
of the city through a comprehensive and collaborative approach to planning.
There is need for a paradigm shift on the part of the Local Authority that is
in the way that they operate their day-to-day activities. With the influx of
modern day technology, the local authority needs to have an up-to-date
database that monitors the day-to-day activities of the city. This will go a
long way in monitoring new players in the city that are free riding when in
fact the city is not free.
As supported by, Dube and Chirisa (2012) in order to improve service
delivery in the city, there is a need to espouse the following suggestions:
the enhancement of community participation in decision making at all
stages, encouraging a sense of ownership,
public awareness in the process of urban management,
coordination between national plans and local plans,
integration of urban and economic planning, enshrining Agenda 21 in
Urban Planning and Management
As put succinctly by Brown (2006), good governance is a source from
which all rivers flow; good governance needs to combine economic policies
that support city prosperity with good social policies. It is time for those who
can make an authentic difference, that is, government, international financial
institutions, the donor community, development activists and the millions
who are all annoyed by the state of the city but silent, to step up to meet this
challenge and to execute the progress of the city.
In addition, development planning, whether national or international has
traditionally been gender neutral or even gender blind. As a result, there has
been a tendency to marginalize women: development planners have often
seen them only as passive beneficiaries of social and health services.
However, planners must realize that development goals will only be reached
by securing active involvement of women and by bringing women into the
mainstream of economic development so that gender plays its own important
role in the process. Gender divisions are not fixed biologically, but constitute
an aspect of wider social division of labour and this, in turn, is rooted in the
28 IRSPSD International, Vol.2 No.4 (2014), 19-29
conditions of production and reproduction and reinforced by the cultural,
religious and ideological systems prevailing in a society. Action orientation
and reorientation in gender analysis is required in many developing countries
as they are sometimes culturally and religiously embedded in anti-gender
balance theses.
5. CONCLUSION
The preceding paragraphs have highlighted the challenges and possible
ways the city of Harare has to take in order to create a sustainable city. The
historical and contemporary state of the city in question has formed the
backbone of the paper. A close look at the city after 1980 shows that the city
of Harare has been subjected to much bickering, contestations and
intergovernmental impositions of policy, hence policy from above as
opposed to policy from below has been imposed. This is largely explained
by the central government’s hard and fast wrenching control in directing the
affairs of the city hence negating the role of the residents’ needs and wants.
As the levels of poverty in Harare continues, coupled with unemployment
and poor service delivery, the country cannot afford to turn its back on the
poor and the vulnerable. There is a need to strengthen cooperation and
solidarity at a city level and redoubling stakeholders’ efforts to reach poverty
free Harare and advance the broader development agenda. The viability of
the city is at stake and national policymakers and all stakeholders should
take heed the message of this valuable and timely analogue in development
planning. The structural transformation of Harare’s functions, with a view to
ensure efficient and cost effective delivery is all the city can do now. There
is also a need for various stakeholders involved in the revitalization of the
city to have a shared vision, commitment at all levels, regular monitoring
and evaluation, a customer-oriented culture and all backed by the provision
of adequate and appropriate resources and the right leadership.
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... Harare's grandiose dream, against this background, then sounds more of a pipedream than anything (cf. Chirisa et al. (2014); Kawadza, 2014). ...
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