Gvt, Chitown council at loggerheads over acting town clerk
By STAFF REPORTER
DAGGERS have been drawn between government and MDC A-led Chitungwiza councillors, over who should be at the helm of management at town house, with sources hinting that the corruption-ridden town could brace for another tough week administratively.
The position of town clerk has been a hot issue following the suspension of George Makunde and council has been appointing acting town clerks from its pool of directors.
However, Makunde’s case, which is now before the courts, has dragged on for over a year and council was now in quandary on how to proceed.
Matters took a turn for the worse last week when the remaining Chitungwiza councillors from the opposition party, who are still in the majority, went for broke.
Out of the 25 councillors at the municipality, five of the 21 opposition councillors have been recalled by the MDC-T while some have been arrested on corruption allegations and are out on bail.
The government has accused the councillors and some members of the management of being captured by Zanu PF land barons to illegally allocate land through backdated illegal offer letters.
The councillors then convened a full council meeting last week at which they passed a resolution that removed finance director Evangelista Machona as acting town clerk.
Engineering director David Duma, who is mired with corruption allegations, placed Machona.
Soon after resolution was passed police in riot gear, in a dragnet raid, disrupted the meeting and detained everyone present including journalists.
However, government is of the view that the process was flawed and was a cunning move by a cartel that is seeking to protect itself against prosecution.
Asked to respond to allegations that he was threatening council officials and causing their arrest, the newly promoted Harare Province development coordinator, Tafadzwa Muguti denied the allegations as a smear campaign by a cartel comprising land barons from Zanu PF and council officials.
According to Muguti council had defied his advise that was contained in a letter that was sent on the day of the meeting, he added that Duma’s appointment was, therefore, illegal.
“No such resolution will carry the day, if at all it will be rescinded by government, there is a cartel of councillors (names supplied) that has been captured by Zanu PF land barons.
Muguti alleged that the same people were now threatening to harm him and his family.
“What I am dealing with are legacy issues, I carry no vendetta against anyone, as for the stand I was only appointed on I September so, I could not have influenced anything in my new capacity.”
“Actually I am part of the over 3 000 victims of the chaos prevailing in Chitungwiza in terms of land allocation.
“I bought a stand long back and I am yet to be allocated it.”
The MDC A councillors have rubbished the corruption allegations and said this was part of a grand plan by the government to replace them with a commission.