Chairman ‘promotes’ self to mayor

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Zvishavane Town Council chairperson Alluwis Zhou has literally imposed himself as mayor of the asbestos-mining town after he reportedly bought himself “mayoral property”, including a mayoral gown and chains and a Mercedes Benz vehicle.

Residents were taken by surprise when Zhou appeared for a ratepayers’ meeting in mayoral regalia. It is reported the regalia was bought in Chegutu last year and the “self-proclaimed” mayor has been attending meetings dressed in the gear.

What has surprised the Zvishavane residents is that there was no mayoral installation ceremony and they are wondering whether Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo was aware of Zhou’s “promotion”.

Efforts to get comment from Chombo were unsuccessful as his mobile phone went unanswered, but his deputy Sesel Zvidzai said:

“Their positions (chairperson) and functions are the same, it’s only that the one runs a town and the mayor is responsible for a bigger municipality. A chairperson is a miniature mayor and so far, I have no problem with Zvishavane. In fact, I am impressed with the performance of the town council there.”

Zhou also defended his newly-found status, saying: “There is nothing sinister about this, what I see here are internal fights with the former Zanu PF councillors who did not manage to buy the regalia. I am doing my duties as the town chairman and when attending meetings I put on the regalia.”

But, Zvishavane Residents and Ratepayers’ Association (ZRRA) chairman Peter Mudzviti said: “He (Zhou) has already made himself a business card. The ministry must come to our rescue and stop the rot which is taking place at Zvishavane Town Council.”