Rusape Town Council snubs Chombo appointees


RUSAPE –The town council have courted the ire of local government minister, Ignatius Chombo, after it refused to accept officials he seconded to the local authority.
Councillors refused to accept two officials seconded by Chombo to assist in the running of the town about 165 km east of Harare and blocked them from entering council offices.
But councillors resisted the move saying it was tantamount to imposition and interference.
Rusape Town Council is dominated by councillors from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T political party.
Chombo yesterday said his actions were “to their (councillors) advantage because they do not have capacity”.
He said the councillors now have to prove to him that they have the capacity to run the town effectively without the assistance of the officials’ he seconded.
“They have to prove that they have the capacity,” Chombo said, in an interview with NewsDay. “If they do not get that capacity they will violate the Urban Councils’ Act and they will be fired.”
The council has been operating without a substantive town secretary, town engineer, finance director, accountant, town planner and administrator. Chombo seconded Darlington Maseka, assistant district administrator for Makoni to work as the acting town secretary and Roy Nhiwatiwa to head the town’s finance department in an acting capacity.
But the councillors could not have any of that. The presence of Makoni district administrator, Cosmos Chiringa, who had accompanied them, did not scare them. They went ahead and barred Chombo’s appointees from entering the municipal building. Chombo dismissed charges of interference and imposition saying it was his duty to supervise local authorities.
“My role is to ensure they (councillors) serve residents and ratepayers,” the minister said. “My job is ensuring they are delivering a good service. That is my mandate.”