The animosity between Harare City Council and controversial Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Karikoga Kaseke has resurfaced after the latter wrote a hard-hitting letter turning down Town House’s invitation to attend a city function last week.
Kaseke was invited by council to attend the relaunch of the Jacaranda Festival but he turned down the invitation saying the letter of invitation had designs that bore similarity to the MDC-T party symbol.
The official logo of the Jacaranda Festival carries a design of a tree whose leaves are in the shape of little open palms.
Part of Kaseke’s letter refusing to attend the council function reads: “The symbol used is synonymous with the MDC.”
The letter was addressed to Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda and the city’s public relations manager, Leslie Gwindi.
Masunda said he was shocked to receive such a letter from Kaseke at a time he thought they had buried the hatchet after the tourism authority boss and the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Walter Mzembi, had angered council by unceremoniously ejecting an MDC-T councillor from a tourism function.
Masunda said: “I got a letter from Kaseke saying he would not attend the Jacaranda Festival function because the tree symbol that was used symbolised an open palm that was similar to that of the MDC party symbol.
“I find it a very funny excuse. I thought we had buried the hatchet after the recent misunderstanding over his behaviour (ordering off the high table a council official). I even sent him messages wishing him a speedy recovery after his recent accident,” Masunda told a full council meeting last week.
Kaseke and Mzembi kicked off the top table a Dzivaresekwa councillor who had been seconded by the mayor to attend a tourism function on his behalf because the two felt he was too junior to sit at the high table.
The action was captured live on national television. The mayor and his council were outraged and demanded an apology from Kaseke and Mzembi.
The controversial tourism authority boss, however, told Masunda to “hang”.
Kaseke said: “The truth is that Mr Masunda can go and hang. We will not apologise. The mayor is misdirecting himself in the same manner he misdirected himself on that particular day. We have nothing to apologise for and we will not apologise.
“Minister Mzembi has nothing to apologise for, neither do I have anything to apologise for.He can go hang. That councillor was too junior and we ordered him to go back and bring the mayor or someone senior.”