DISGRUNTLED MDC-T Harare councillors have allegedly plotted to oust mayor Bernard Manyenyeni over their exclusion from a municipal business delegation to Israel, NewsDay has learnt.
By Senior Reporter
The proposed trip would look into a “park and ride” urban transport project aimed at decongesting traffic in the city.
The MDC-T won 41 of the 46 Harare municipal wards in the July 31 general elections.
Sources said the disgruntled councillors held a caucus and were supposed to meet the party’s national organising secretary, during the Easter holidays to get the nod to pass a vote of no confidence in Manyenyeni.
“The mayor reduced the size of the delegation on the trip and speculation started mounting that he had sidelined people on political grounds, therefore, culminating in the planning of the putsch,”the source said.
Manyenyeni confirmed the disgruntlement among the councillors and the planned move to pass a vote of no confidence in him. “The reduction of the Israel delegation from seven to four members angered some councillors and they were making all these wild accusations. But the reality is we did not have enough money to carry everyone on the trip,” he said.
The disgruntled councillors further muddied the waters by alleging that Manyenyeni was also fighting in fired deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma’s corner to oust party leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
However, a party insider said the Mangoma issue was a smokescreen and the real fight was about access to “lucrative” allowances received in going on foreign trips.
“Councillors are getting a $290 monthly allowance and most, therefore, look forward to be on lists to take foreign business trips to augment their income,” the source added.