Councillors declare war on Chombo

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Some councillors have vowed to use Parliament in their war against Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo for his alleged interference in operations of local authorities around the country.

The councillors, who have since formed an independent association, said they would approach individual MPs to press for the amendment of the Urban Councils Act which they claim gives Chombo too much authority to fire elected councillors at will.

Monday, Elected Councillors Association of Zimbabwe president Warship Dumba said the war was not against Chombo as an individual but was to ensure that residents got potable water and services they desired.

He said Chombo was the sole impediment in their tasks hence the necessity for a greater countrywide campaign to amend the Urban Councils Act.

“We want to give letters to all the MPs from both Zanu PF and the MDC-T to move for the amendment of the Act. There are good people in Zanu PF who love their country and are against corruption. Those who want progress should stand up and be counted,” Dumba said.

“We want to amend the Urban Councils Act and our fight is not against Chombo but the Act that gives him the powers he now abuses.”

MDC-T councillors who spoke to NewsDay from Bulawayo wanted to use their party congress to come up with a strategy to deal with Chombo and make sure his wings were clipped.

The councillors who were part of the MDC-T congress said they were tired of Chombo’s actions against their party’s elected councilors.

The councillors said their priority was not to fight Chombo but to deliver quality services to residents.

“Residents do not want to see us fighting Chombo always but they want us to deliver. The only impediment however is the minister,” said a councillor from Harare who refused to be named.

“Our priority is quality service delivery to the electorate. We want a visible councillor who meets the expectations of the electorate but with Chombo and his Urban Councils Act, we cannot have a visible councillor,” said another councillor.

Last week, Chombo said he would not be deterred in fighting corruption, claiming he had the blessing of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in discharging his duties and firing corrupt council officials.

Chombo has so far fired several MDC-T councillors around the country and last week made further threats to sack more.