‘Greedy CCC faction gifts Zanu PF Chitown mayoral post’
...opposition party insiders call it the great betrayal
A SELF-SERVING Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) faction sympathetic to former opposition mayor Lovemore Maiko has gifted Zanu PF the mayoral post in the opposition dominated municipality, councillors and residents leaders revealed to Zim Community News.
Maiko has bounced back as ward 7 councillor following the recent by-elections.
The councillors and residents were responding to Monday’s controversial decision by acting Chitungwiza mayor Kiven Mutimbanyoka to block the election of a substantive mayor.
The motion was moved by opposition councillor Kudakwashe John and seconded by Richard Chamutsa and former mayor Maiko.
Mutimbanyoka said permitting such an election was tantamount to undermining the Local Government minister July Moyo, who has ordered the on-going corruption investigations targeting councillors.
However, the decision did not go down well with opposition councillors who accused Mutimbanyoka of illegally clinging on to power.
CCC sources said following Maiko and his deputy Musa Makweza’s recall by the Mwonzora-led MDC A, the opposition councillors held an internal election for their candidate to run for the deputy mayor post and Councillor Tumai Magadzire emerged the winner.
Surprisingly, added the sources, the Maiko faction later resisted a motion tabled by a CCC councillor to elect Magadzire as deputy mayor, and a week later Local Government Minister July Moyo appointed Zanu PF councillor Kiven Mutimbanyoka as acting deputy mayor.
Moyo cited the failure by the municipality to hold mayoral elections within 30 days as stipulated by the Urban Council Act following the recall of Maiko by the Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-T.
“Maiko is now a liability to the party, we held an internal election for the deputy mayor’s post and Magadzire got 7 votes, Matiringe 3, Majoni 2, Chamutsa only got 1.
“Surprisingly, our councillors Muchakwa and Richard Chamutsa successfully shot down our motion to appoint the winner tabled in council chambers. A week later, the minister wrote a letter advising us that he had appointed Zanu PF’s Kiven Mutimbanyoka.”
“The reason was that we had failed to take heed of his letter to appoint the deputy within the stipulated time in accordance with the law.”
Another councillor said that the blunder was costly as the ruling party was capitalising on the opposition’s blundering and use Mutimbanyoka’s appointment to campaign for next year’s elections.
Harare Metropolitan Residents Forum (Hamref) chairperson Marvellous Kumalo weighed in, laying the blame for the controversy surrounding the election of Chitungwiza mayor squarely on councillors delay in replacing Maiko after he was recalled.
“The municipality allowed competing partisan and factional interests to overshadow the interests of residents and ratepayers, which only borders around an improved quality of service delivery and not all that bickering.
“Council allowed the legally stipulated timeframe to lapse. As we speak what is obtaining on the ground at the municipality is an illegality which they allowed to continue unabated.
Kumalo urged Chitungwiza councillors and management to prioritise the interests of the residents and ratepayers rather than abusing the council chamber as a platform for the pursuance of their myopic interests.