Barely two weeks after Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo fired two special interest councillors and appointed a resuscitation team to investigate the affairs of Chitungwiza Town Council, the minister has reportedly appointed six special interest councillors to replace the pair.
Chitungwiza mayor Philemon Chipiyo confirmed the latest developments yesterday.
The minister has appointed six councillors, but I am out of town and I cant give you all the names. One of them is former mayor, Joseph Macheka, said Chipiyo.
Macheka is a Zanu PF central committee member and former Zanu PF MP and executive mayor for Chitungwiza.
Last week, Chombo reportedly read the riot act at Chitungwiza following clashes between councillors and town clerk Godfrey Tanyanyiwa.
This was after Tanyanyiwa defied a suspension order by the councillors, arguing it had no legal standing.
Chombo intervened and fired two special interest councillors he had seconded to the council, accusing them of dereliction of duty, but spared Tanyanyiwa, whom the councillors accused of abuse of office.
Yesterday, most councillors admitted their failure to discipline Tanyanyiwa describing him as Chombos blue-eyed boy.
Chombo told us that there is nothing we can do without the teams consent and of all recommendations we have made, the team is not saying anything on the firing of the town clerk, said one councillor.
Another councillor, Jacob Rukweza, said it was clear Tanyanyiwa abused council funds and as far as councillors were concerned, he was suspended at a special council meeting on December 28, but there were people who were protecting him.
Tanyanyiwa refused to comment, saying: Its a Sunday today, and I am attending a funeral. Call me tomorrow.
Chombo last week told NewsDay in an interview the councillors were empowered by the Urban Councils Act to deal with council officials while he was empowered to deal with councillors and the mayor.
He said he was doing his job by suspending or firing errant councillors, but was surprised councillors were not doing the same with officials.
But, Chombos deputy, Sesel Zvidzai, said: Chombo wants to fire all mayors in this country and it is shown by the letters he wrote to Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda last year. His actions in Chinhoyi, Mutare, Gweru, Bulawayo and other MDC-T-dominated councils show that.