PM calls Chombo, Zvidzai to order

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Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has intervened in the public spat between Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo and his deputy Sesel Zvidzai.

Tsvangirai on Tuesday arranged a meeting with the two feuding ministers but the meeting failed to take off after Chombo excused himself to attend a funeral of a Zanu PF member in Mashonaland West Province.

Chombo was not immediately available to comment but another meeting has been set for Monday at the Premier’s Munhumutapa offices.

The two have been fighting over Chombo’s unilateral decisions to fire MDC-T councillors without consulting him.

Zvidzai accused Chombo of treating the ministry “like his bedroom” and going out to cripple the MDC-T-run councils while Chombo said his deputy was being “preposterous”.

“The meeting has been set for Monday to end this feud,” our source said yesterday. “The fight has to come to an end and the two should work together.”
Zvidzai could not shed light on the meeting but confirmed the two would meet the Prime Minister soon.

Relations between the two ministers had soured to a point where it became difficult for their subordinates to implement orders which sometimes came directly contradicting each other.

On Monday, Zvidzai wrote a hard-hitting letter to Chombo saying: “The recent spate of unilateral dismissals and suspensions of councillors by you has become a cause for concern to my relevance in the ministry.”

Zvidzai argued the minister, as envisaged in Constitution Amendment Number 19 Act which gave effect to the inclusive government, was supposed to consult his deputy before making any decisions.

He said as such all the dismissals and suspensions by Chombo were null and void and the affected councillors including Casper Takura, Warship Dumba and Bindura’s Tinashe Madamombe should go back to work.

But Chombo hit back saying Zvidzai was powerless.