Harare council fights spill to ZITF

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Former Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere

THE chaos rocking Harare City Council spilled into the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (Ucaz) executive committee meeting in Bulawayo yesterday when acting mayor Chris Mbanga protested the presence of newly-appointed town clerk James Mushore.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA/NQOBANI NDLOVU

HARARE-MAYOR-MANYENYENI

The stand-off between the Harare officials nearly stalled the Ucaz meeting, culminating in the whole Harare delegation being ordered out to resolve their differences. The Ucaz meeting was held on the sidelines of the ongoing 57th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).

Impeccable sources said as the meeting was about to start, Mbanga rose on a point of order and indicated that there was an “intruder”.

“The intruder he was talking about was Mushore and he wanted him ejected from the meeting. However, organisers asked the whole Harare City Council delegation to be given space to deal with their issues. They could not agree.
Mbanga then asked Mushore to leave claiming he had power under the Urban Councils Act to determine the composition of the local authority’s delegation,” NewsDay heard.

“The source of the problem is Josephine Ncube (chamber secretary). Mbanga is refusing to recognise Mushore and instead wants Ncube as town clerk in line with (Local Government minister Saviour) Kasukuwere’s desires.”

In the stand-off, Mushore, sources claimed, stood his ground and demanded that Mbanga and his “coterie of hangers-on”, who included councillors Steward Mutizwa, Wellington Njanjazi and a woman identified as Gwenambura, put their request in writing. The group was then asked to leave the meeting after the furore.

Mbanga yesterday confirmed the “walkout” in protest after Mushore attended the meeting without a council resolution.

“Council stands by its decision that the Mushore matter is still before the courts. He, therefore, cannot report for duty until determination on matters before the courts,” he said.

Ucaz acting president Tsungai Makore, who is also Shurugwi mayor, also confirmed the development.

“A constitutional provision that we have as Ucaz indicates that members to the executive committee meeting comprise of mayors and chairpersons of full members. Harare is a full member of the Ucaz.

“On issues pertaining to the delegates of members to attend the executive committee meeting, the town clerk attends in an advisory role. In this instance, the issues pertaining to Harare, as you are aware, are before the courts and it is not for Ucaz to discuss or even determine who is the town clerk, and who is not. Our issue ends as per our constitutional provision,” Makore said.

Makore also confirmed the meeting had requested “Harare to leave and sort out their issues”.

“The meeting proceeded and it was fruitful (in) manner…we hope that our next full executive committee meeting will have a full complement of our members. We expect as Ucaz, Harare would have solved their issues when we meet next time,” he said.

This furore came as MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai insisted that his party did not recognise Mbanga’s appointment as Harare acting mayor.

Mbanga took over as acting mayor following the suspension of mayor Bernard Manyenyeni on allegations of defying Kasukuwere and refusing to rescind Mushore’s appointment as town clerk.

Mbanga has reportedly also barred Mushore from setting foot at Town House until his appointment has been regularised, but the latter has defied the directive and travelled to the Ucaz conference using his own resources after council refused to fund his trip. Mushore at the beginning of this month signed a two-year-contract which expires when he reaches retirement age in 2018, and has threatened to sue council should his contract be terminated.

23 COMMENTS

  1. It seems Mbanga is on a hatchet job ..I expect MDC to correct this anomaly we want an official party position on this debacle.He is now dancing to the tunes of Kasukuwere

  2. Tsvangirai at first he was against the appointment of Mushore, due to pressure cmng from his party now is against Mbanga. What is the correct position of this confused leader. He cannot make his own decision as a leader thats why ndakasiyana nayo party iyi

  3. why would one want to come back to work when he has failed to pay workers for the past 5 months, job welldone Mr kasukuwere, the mdc.t has failed to run the city, we need a commission before its too late.

    • zvevanhu writes like it is the councillors who run the council . Some commentators are just brain dead. Councils are run by the executive, these are the people who should be fired and not mdc t councillors.

    • @ zvevanhu Shame stereki even if they employ a new town clerk thats not going to solve the problem. The problem is bigger than just changing the clerks; council is failing to pay its employees because its owed millions from rate payers who are also not getting paid by their employers or have been retrenched and can not raise enough money from vending. What you are looking at here is a systems failure. The system that we inherited was self sustaining people were employed and paid on time and in turn they would pay rates and everyone was happy. So please do not allow yourself to be used by politicians nezvinhu zviri pachena kudai.

    • Zvevanhu, are you aware that government is the biggest debtor of city councils? So, even if you get a commision councils will always be short of money as long as government doesn’t pay for water and rates.

      You may also recall that Chombo forgave all debts prior to the 2013 elections. Where do you reckon money to pay salaries comes from?

    • which workers have not been paid’, those who dig trenches and leave them open, they don’t deserve a penny!

  4. May the honourable judge Ncube who reserved her judgement deliver her judgement so that the City of Harare move forward.

    The application by the suspended Mayor Manyenyeni was urgent and it should be treated as such.

  5. Mushore is a failure, he failed to run NMB, so lets stand bu our Hon Minister Kasukuwere. Mushore must go.

  6. This one is for you Zvevanhu. Stop pretending.Not only urban councils led by the MDC have failed to pay workers on time.Govt is in arrears for its workers’ for periods.Govt parastatals are in a mess as well,much longer periods than you want to make noise about,lol

  7. Is there a problem kana Mushore akagara kumba till the judgement is delivered? Inga the Mayor arikumba wani? This fight has nothing to do with delivering of basic services in the city of Harare. Mbanga was imposed by Tsvangirai as a deputy Mayor and all fingers must point to tsvangirai!

  8. Zanu PF can not work with any straight forward leaders like Mayor Manyenyeni. Some Harare City Councillors believe that they are at work and their boss is Kasukuwere. If MDCT was a serious party, they should recall Mbanga, Mtizwa and Njanjazi.If it fails to do so, activists in Harare should campaign for independent candidates for all council positions come 2018.

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