Chombo, Masunda in slanging match

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Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo and Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda have taken their slanging match into the New Year with the former describing elected city councillors as ‘dull and incompetent’.

But, Masunda on the other hand branded “special interest”councilors appointed by the minister non-performers who are unfit to be at Town House.

“Concerning special interest councillors, I still have unresolved issues with my friend (Chombo). I will not give up until we establish a modus vivendi.

“The reason behind him being given a special dispensation to appoint special interest councillors is to make it possible for him in consultation with me to appoint genuinely special interest councillors that will help to fill in gaps that may not exist within our standing committees,” Masunda said.

“The rationale behind that prerogative is he (Chombo) has to use it judiciously and stop using that to accommodate councillors who are pro-his party, Zanu PF.”

Chombo however, shot back saying: “He (Masunda) is misunderstanding the Urban Councils Act. It authorises the minister and not the mayor to appoint special interest councillors and you have to look for someone with exposure.

“I gave him two lawyers and two non-lawyers who were in the previous commissions and I appointed them for continuity. I don’t know of a councillor I appointed with no expertise.

“I get surprised with the choice of councillors by the MDC-T. If you were to compare the councillors I appointed and the MDC-T councillors, my goodness, they are not even comparable. There is no comparison at all, it’s like they are square pegs in a round hole.”

Masunda and Chombo have repeatedly clashed over administrative issues of the local authority with the latter accusing the MDC-T-dominated council of running down the city.

The MDC-T has, however, accused Chombo of interfering in council operations by appointing Zanu PF protégés as special interest councillors” “so they could spy on his behalf.”