MANICALAND Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene has declared herself the de facto head of Mutare City Council, claiming she had been given the mandate to oversee council business by Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Addressing a stakeholders’ meeting attended by residents’ associations, councillors and non-governmental organisations in the city last Friday, Chimene credited herself for an audit, which recently unearthed massive financial irregularities, which led to the resignation of town clerk, Obert Muzawazi.
“It is I who is in charge at Mutare City Council. I do so through their ministry because if I see something wrong, I report to their respective ministry. I also rule through the councillors, l have the right to call them and show them the direction. l am not saying an MDC or Zanu PF councillor, but Mutare City Councillors,’’ she said.
“If you, councillors, want to politicise issues of council, l will not tolerate that. You should be united for the good of the city. If you misbehave, nothing can stop me from unleashing a commission for the city and you will rule from your homes.’’
Chimene said she had influenced Kasukuwere to order a forensic audit report of the local authority that exposed massive rot by the council’s management.
“They were sending their children to schools outside the country, while a worker, who should earn just $100, was not getting anything. This is very cruel and they should be arrested. I acted like a town cleck last year because scores of people always came to my office saying that they were not getting paid,’’ she said.
Mutare council workers have gone for 18 months unpaid.
City engineer Donald Nyatoti is the acting town clerk.