Chombo, MDC-T battle spills to courts

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THE MDC-T yesterday filed an urgent application with the Electoral Court seeking an interdict to block outgoing Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo from interfering in the election of mayors.

REPORT BY STAFF REPORTER

The court application filed by MDC-T lawyers, Mwonzora and Associates Legal Practitioners follows Chombo’s directive compelling newly-elected councillors to pick a mayor from among themselves.

However, the MDC-T argues that Section 49 of the Urban Councils Act allows for an outsider to be elected as mayor. The party has already recommended non-elected members Obert Gutu and Mandla Nyathi as its preferred candidates for Harare and Bulawayo respectively.

“Section 49 of the Urban Councils Act provides for qualification of mayors. It clearly does not disqualify anybody who is not an elected councillor, to stand as mayor,” MDC-T secretary for local government Blessing Chebundo said in an affidavit supporting the urgent application.

“Section 103 of the Urban Councils Act as amended by Section 22 of the Local Government Laws Amendment Act 1 of 2008 clearly stipulates that mayors can be elected from councillors or other persons. It therefore allows for the election of mayors from persons outside councils.”

Chebundo added: “The qualifications for election of a person as mayor are provided for in section 49 of the Act. Under this section, for one to be a mayor he/she does not have to be a councillor first. Section 49(2) refers to the executive mayor contemplated in section 277 (2) of the constitution and not to a non-executive mayor.”

Local Government secretary Killian Mupingo last month wrote to all local authorities directing Provincial Administrators that only elected councillors were eligible to contest the mayoral post.

Part of the letter dated August 21 reads: “It is underscored that in terms of Section 274 (2) as read with section 265 (2) and section 275 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (no.20) Act 2013, mayors and chairpersons shall be elected from amongst elected councillors only.”

18 COMMENTS

  1. this clearly shows that those councillors are incompetent .if they were voted there after considering what role they should play there wouldn’t be all this noise about who should be the mayor. you now realise your mistake so don’t throw it to other pple. given tthe opportunity to rule the whole country would you be in aposition to plan properly if you are failing to plan for just local authorities?

    • Maxwell you are missing the point. It is not about competence or lack thereof of the elected councillors. It is about increasing numbers of people in civic administration!

    • Maxwell – you will appreciate that the competencies of a councilor in a ward are quite different from those required at mayoral level. When people vote they are voting for a local councilor – a person they think is able to provide local ward services – running the whole municipality is a different ball game altogether so expecting a competent security guard who has beeen elected councilor to be elected Mayor and perform is mischievous. The bottom line is that Chombo wants gullible and ignorant people that he can boss around.

      • Maxwells point is that given there is inconsistency between the new constitution and the urban councils act, political parties should have selected competent candidates for councilors as they may have had to take up the position of mayor. Apa MDC-T yatadza kufunga and the sharks in Zanu PF smell blood. You can hate Zanu all you want but time and again they prove to be better strategists than MDC-Tea.

        • Agreed. MDC-T is showing gross political naivety by disregarding its elected councillors and then stubbornly choosing to appoint a political loser into a powerful mayoral office.

          Surely, this shows that that MDC-T does not uphold the values, ethics and principles underpinning democracy. Indeed, MDC -T is heading for doom

  2. Mdcteaboy knew that it was likely to win in most urban local authorities and should have deployed cadres with the right credentials to contest elections at that level.

  3. What’s the fuss all about? Venezuela is being run by a former bus driver. Africa’s power house, South Africa is being run by Zuma. What are Jacob’s academic and professional qualifications? Give Cde Joseph Chinotimba five years and have a summative evaluation of his performance. I won’t be suprised if he does better than the so called academics and technocrats!

    • The National Constitution provides for an executive Mayor, elected by registered voters, in an election run by ZEC. The executive powers of that Mayor shall be vested in him through an Act of parliament. Therefore applying the constitution now is a non-starter.

  4. the only problem here the gvt wants to realign an act of parliament by word of mouth. we appreciate that the constitutiion is the supreme law of the land but we have to understand that as long as that realignment is not in black n white the urban councils act is not being flouted by the mdc but being followed. chombo and mpingo are just raping the act just like what zec did to the electoral act on the issue of special voters. the ubarn councils act governs the local authorities which what is happening. our ruling party is there to be seen to be in charge whereas they are supposed to be serving the people.

  5. Matanyera kana keshiya wepa bhawa rekanzuru anogona kungoita kanzura asi kana toenda pabasa rameya, masamba ati siyanei. ZANU PF is scared to see the quality of candidates that MDC has put forward because all Chombo wants is chaos so he can be de facto mayor of every city through hand picked commissions. We are NOT stupid!!!

  6. chombo has always been a problem and finds it difficult to work with individuals who know what they are doing. that is why he wants unschooled and unqualified thugs like him cause he can easily manipulate him. what a fool. drop dead chombo you are very useless

  7. The new constitution is clear mayors need not be frm councillors. Chombo’s mandate always has been to frustrate MDC councils from day 1. He is a disgrace,and a coward! A shame even to his family! Mdc has evry ryte to choose the best since their power now lies in councils,bcz urban councils r now strategic.zanu pple lack objectivity wat is it calling Mdc-tea? Zanu pple here r always saying shallow things

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