MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has reportedly taken over the appointment of Harare City Council committee chairpersons in a bid to ensure his allies control key positions to effectively drive the opposition party’s service delivery agenda ahead of the 2023 elections.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda confirmed that his boss was providing “smart leadership” to ensure “correct people for correct positions”.
“He is the leader of the party and he is providing smart leadership to our councils, as MDC, we want to implement smart policies for our people and that can’t be described as illegal or bad. It is ensuring we have councils that run the vision of the party,” Sibanda said.
According to party insiders, the decision would also see Chamisa give key council positions to Ian Makone and Jacob Mafume, who recently lost the mayoral race to the party’s Herbert Gomba.
“The president has taken over the process to appoint chairpersons for committees. Even the mayor (Gomba) knows nothing on who would chair the committees for fear that he would want to put his people in key positions at the expense of the party’s thrust,” an MDC source said.
However, Gomba said he was in charge of the process, although he still consulted the party.
“My office is seized with that, we are looking at the abilities of each and every councillor so that when we appoint, we place people in areas where they have a better understanding. My brother, we have a city to run and an economy to turn around,” Gomba said.
Councils are run through a committee system and it is at these meetings where resolutions are made before adoption at full council meetings and rolled down to management for implementation.
Makone, a businessman and former top aide in the office of the late ex-Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, has been touted as a possible candidate to head council’s finance portfolio.
Besides his close proximity to the party presidency, Makone is believed to have the requisite professional qualifications which include a BSc in Economics and a Masters in Research, while Mafume is expected to chair the human resources committee where his legal background would come in handy.