‘I will block Tsvangirai mayors’

OUTGOING Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo plans to block moves by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to allegedly impose unelected officials as mayors in Harare, Bulawayo and Chitungwiza. MOSES MATENGA/WONAI MASVINGISE The MDC-T leader has endorsed former Deputy Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Obert Gutu and Isaac Manyemba’s secondment as designate mayors for Harare and Chitungwiza respectively. In an interview with NewsDay yesterday, Chombo said the MDC-T was going against the law by forwarding unelected people to Town House, adding that councillors would reverse the decision at their first meeting. “Mayors are elected according to the new Constitution. They will choose from the committees in that council set up the day they first meet. The Provincial Administrator or the District Administrator will preside over those elections,” Chombo said. “It’s the MDC-T that changed the whole thing saying they should be no outsiders and that is now in the Constitution. You have to choose from the councillors elected in that area under jurisdiction. There is nothing ambiguous; it’s very clear. They contributed to that and now they can’t say chinja maitiro (change). It’s now the law and the law stands. They can do whatever they want, but the councillors will choose a mayor from among themselves when they meet and will do the same for the deputy mayors,” said Chombo. He said the MDC-T risked a similar revolt it faced in Chitungwiza in 2010 when the party imposed a candidate that was later rejected by the councillors. Already, Tsvangirai is reportedly under fire from his own councillors and residents who are accusing him of unilateralism. Former Chitungwiza councillor Jacob Rukweza and several other MDC-T officials accused Tsvangirai of misinterpreting provisions of the Urban Councils Act, especially on selection of mayors. “The MDC keeps talking about deploying mayors from outside the ranks of elected councillors without checking the legality of such action yet the new Constitution seems to suggest that this is no longer permissible,” said Rukweza. “The MDC has a whole choir of lawyers within its ranks (two of them in the standing committee of the party) who should make themselves useful by reading the new Constitution and advise the party accordingly.” However, MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora yesterday insisted that the party’s interpretation of the law was correct. “We are a party of rules. We have to listen to the party leadership, in this instance, the national executive and the standing committee. No councillor has voiced their concern and they know the channels of communication. We expect discipline.” Lawyers yesterday gave conflicting interpretations of the Constitution on the issue. Law expert Tawanda Zhuwarara, however, said section 269 of the Constitution states that there shall be metropolitan provinces which include Harare and Bulawayo and each metropolitan council shall be headed by chairpersons who shall also be the mayors of the cities of Harare and Bulawayo. “What happens is in terms of section 272 subsection 1, at the first sitting after every general election, a provincial council must elect a chairperson from a list of at least two qualified persons submitted by a political party which gained the highest number of National Assembly seats in the province. This provision does not say anything on who those people are. The party is the one that provides two names and it shall go for a vote and whoever wins shall become the chairperson of that provincial council,” he said. Another law expert, Chris Mhike, said: “In the case of executive mayors and chairpersons, and in terms of section 274 of the Constitution, an Act of Parliament may confer executive powers on the mayor or chairperson of an urban local authority. But an executive mayor or executive chairperson must be elected directly by registered voters in the area for which the local authority has been established.” He said in case of a non-executive mayor, the mayor shall be the person preferred or elected by councillors of a subject local authority at the first sitting of the council following a general election. “In respect of non-executive mayors and chairpersons, there is no specific provision in the statutes on the need for the elected person to be one of the elected councillors. The requirement for the mayor or chairperson of a local authority to be an elected official relates only to executive office.”

23 Comments

  1. mdc is flip flopping again

  2. Read the law and ask Chombo which constitution he is reading. Chete muzukuru wa Bob but this ifiot must never be in cabinet again if we have to move. Since Bob has threatened Harare and Bulawayo so he will keep Chombo there as the hatchet man. Use the axe Chombo as usual because for you guys where others use an X you use an axe.

  3. According to what I read from the above statement it’s Chombo who is misinterpreting the law.

    1. Very true Mr Chombo is misrepresenting the facts here and i wonder if he read the costitution as he says or he is there to block every move that the opposition makes.

  4. chombo muzukuru wabhobho ndonyayaya irikunetsa

  5. Isu tinokahlamadzwa chose kuti Bumbiro remutemo nderimwe asi kuhwisisa ndokunosiyana chete . Mahwisisiro aChombo anoti siyanei nokuti chinangwa chake ndechekuda kuwisa musangano weruzhinji asi tinoti hazvigoni mzukuru waBobo .Mayor ndiMadhlira pazhe(Gutu) hapana chinochinja apo chakwesha chemutemo . Vakuru vanoti gudo kuminya mapfura kutembei Mdc inoziva kuti mutemo unoti chii . Ko kuMberengwa hakunavo Mayor here .Ndirikubvunza ka ndoda kuti ndizivewo vakomana kusafunda vakomana .

  6. That is your trade mark in addition to that thoughless white head, destruction of city authorities! What are you waiting for, handiti ndimi muri kutonga here?

  7. It seems chombo dznt understnd the constitution,besides the power to endorse or decline lies wth the councillors themselves. The constitution dznt say the mayor must be a councillor. Anyway chombo’s powers have been limited by the new law

  8. Does anyone know a single achievement by Chombo in the 18 years he has been in government? It turns out the people of his constituency are not aware of any. I wasnt even aware he was still a minister seeing the cabinet is still to be put together.

    I forgot that he is now ranked one of the richest men in the country, albeit without a single known business. That indeed is an achievement.

  9. Thoz gullible ar quick to accuse wat ever comes from Zanu pf or its officials without seriously looking at the statutes of the law. They are also quick to believe anything that comes from Mdc or its officials without considering wat the law says. History is littered with Mdc bungles,pain and loud cries of unfair this and unfair that. In this case Chombo is very right and no matter wat, those chosen by Morgan will not be in Town House! After all Chombo is not saying he want a Zanu pf mayor,no, but he is advising Mdc to folo the law in choosing its mayors,period! Taf luck Obert who was made to fly mundege yemashanga! With Tsvangirai on the wheel, never expect to reach your destination wat so ever. Never!

  10. Gullible foks ar quick to accuse wat ever comes from Zanu pf or its officials without seriously looking at the statutes of the law. They are also quick to believe anything that comes from Mdc or its officials without considering wat the law says. History is littered with Mdc bungles,pain and loud cries of unfair this and unfair that. In this case Chombo is very right and no matter wat, those chosen by Morgan will not be in Town House! After all Chombo is not saying he want a Zanu pf mayor,no, but he is advising Mdc to folo the law in choosing its mayors,period! Taf luck Obert who was made to fly mundege yemashanga! With Tsvangirai on the wheel, never expect to reach your destination wat so ever. Never!

    1. Taris, in what capacity is Chombo issuing these threats? He is not a minister…not just yet anyway.

      If Mugabe had been taking this country to a desirable destination, we would have arrived by now. He has been at it for 33 years. Ah, maybe we have reached our destination; a perpetual beggar nation. Tava kuteya mbeva muminda yedu yatakatora takanyatsotandavara!

  11. So he already knows that he is going to be the local gvt minister?

  12. tha ministers r stl on an acting capacity, as 2 wu z ryt tym wl tel wen Gutu hz bn rejectd

  13. Ana Taris inga munazvo! You think everything said by a tired, corrupt zanny official is the correct position! Zvakaoma.. Read the law for yourself and not rely on those achaic, corrupt, officials…

  14. Gukurahundi tendencies

    The next five years of Gukurahundi rule are going to be rocky – the ground for this has already been set.

    Bophi njambo, tighten your seat belts and forget economic development. Its gonna be a fight right through!!

  15. chii chanetsa ndiani angamisa mhepo inovhuvhuta . Anesimba achonekwa Chombo neMDC-T mumaguta muno

  16. These machinja idiots matters of life. You don’t have an unelected monkey to be mayor of the city. It is from among the elected councillors where you get the Mayor from. Chombo is right, no
    wonder why ZPF encouraged the people to vote yes for the new constitution, they knew very well
    what they were going as opposed to those who just scream chinja without knowing the content or what the change implies. kikiki

    1. Reason, people with valid arguments do not have to hurl insults at anyone. Insults have never constituted logic.

      You claim to know the low but you are not even aware that Chombo was Minister in the last government. He has not been appointed Local government minister in the new govt.

  17. Kurota kwaChombo uko. Even your colleague, Mangwana admits the mayor does not necessarily need to be an elected councillor. You are a Doctor of Adult of Education, not a legal expert, so shut up Chombo!!!!!!!

  18. CHOMBO uri mbudzi, manje wairasa dzokera kuchikoro

  19. 2/3 majority. who. needs a constitution. Tati. tadiyi

  20. Hon Chombo should have consulted his lawyers first on intepretation of this matter. Elsewhere in the newspapers it is reported that Cde Mangwana, Terrence Husein, Chris Mhike, Tawanda Zhuwarara and many others are agreed on the consitutional provision for uban councils. The majority party can nominate any two individuals for the post and elected councillors have to elect a mayor from the nominees on their first sitting. Lets make Zimbabwe a better place an do away with antagonism and vindictiveness

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