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Mayor, governor clash

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KADOMA — Councillors here have accused Mashonaland West provincial governor Faber Chidarikire of abusing his office by sending Zanu PF activists to meddle in council affairs.

Mayor Peter Matambo told NewsDay yesterday Chidarikire ordered party youths to force residents and councillors to a meeting without council’s consent.

The meeting, attended by over 200 residents, was held at Rimuka Hall on Tuesday.

“Zanu PF youths were used to close flea markets and force-marched vendors to a meeting which was meant to meddle with our work in council,” Matambo said.

“We got an invitation from the governor who wanted us to meet with Kadoma Marketing (KAMA) employees, but to our surprise when we got there more than 100 party activists were waiting for us.”
He added that Chidarikire reportedly used the occasion to “chastise” the MDC-T-dominated council for providing “shoddy service”.

Matambo claimed the city fathers attended the meet under duress.

“I told the governor that my team attended the meeting under protest, chiefly because we have nothing to hide. The Zanu PF-led council which left office before us left a bad economic patch which has pulverised our operations and we need a bailout. The problems we are facing are not due to mismanagement,” he said.

But Chidarikire denied the charges.

“We were invited by the residents and council employees who felt abandoned by their city fathers. Most of the workers feel neglected and left to fend for themselves by their employer,” Chidarikire said.

“I was there to listen to their concerns and after that engage other arms of government so that we can see how best to assist them.”

KAMA workers’ committee chairperson Godfrey Manika confirmed they invited Chidarikire to discuss the stalemate over severance packages.

“We have our issue which is outstanding with council. They retrenched us but have not paid our packages or the money which they owe us in salaries and wages. This is precisely why we invited the governor’s intervention, but we are not responsible for the other people who gate-crashed the meeting,” Manika said.

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