July Moyo-appointed acting mayor blocks council meetings

... as service delivery bleeds

318

- Advertisement -

Spread the love

BY EDITOR

THE acting mayor of Chitungwiza, Kevin Mutimbanyoka has shut the door on the convening of full council meetings in the town.

Mutimbanyoka was appointed acting mayor by Local Government Minister July Moyo amid controversy, following the recall of ward 7 councillor Lovemore Maiko on 2 March by the Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC Alliance.

He told Zim Commmunity News that calling for council meetings was a waste of time because some councillors always called for the election of a substantive mayor.

The Zanu PF councillor was responding to allegations from stakeholders that he had banned full council meetings.

“To answer you bluntly, I won’t be forced to call for a meeting just to massage someone’s ego, until such time the councillors decide they are now serious about council business it’s pointless wasting residents’ money sitting for useless meetings.”

However, he conceded that the holding of such meetings was a legal requirement.

“I won’t waste my time calling for a meeting whose outcome is predetermined.

He accused the councillors of conflating the mayorship and the chieftainship, in the process neglecting their core duties of service delivery and policymaking.

“We all got elected from our wards and any one of us out of 25 can be the mayor or rather the political figurehead of the council.

“We have had Cllr (Gift) Tsverere followed by Cllr (Lovemore) Maiko and right now I am there and we can’t put the councils’ business on abeyance because of a ceremonial post.”

Of the former mayors he cited, Mutimbanyoka is the only one who was appointed by the Local Government minister.

The rest were elected by councilors with Mutimbanyoka the loser in both elections.

He added that the “misguided councilors” were refusing to recognise him yet he held the keys to the whole process of electing a new mayor.

“So my position is if there is anyone with a contrary view, they are free to approach the courts for arbitration, we now need the legal fundis to guide us as far as this issue is concerned because we are way past the 30 days provided for in the Urban Councils Act.”

He also inferred that the Moyo’s decision to appoint him had settled the issue of the election of a mayor in the town.

His statement contradicts advice by the secretary for provincial affairs and devolution for Harare province Tafadzwa Muguti to the acting town clerk Evangelista Machona contained in a letter dated 9 March 2022.

“Given the foregoing by-elections it is advisable that elections for the mayor be held after By Elections, but within (30) days to also accommodate the democratic rights of the incoming councilors who would have been elected,” reads Muguti’s letter that was also copied to the Moyo.

When contacted for comment Machona referred all questions on mayoral elections and meetings to Mutimbanyoka.

She was only able to comment on the appointment of substantive directors saying that this should wait until pending court cases are cleared.
Local Government deputy minister Marian Chombo had not replied our questions at the time of going to print.

Below are the interviews in full

ZCN: When is council going to have a full council meeting?

Councillor Mutimbanyoka: On the very first question yes I agree with you that statutory meetings must be held as and when they fall due but I won’t waste my time calling for a meeting whose outcome is predetermined, each time we are calling for these meeting they get disrupted by a handful of councillors who are somewhat misguided to think council business is all about electing a new Mayor neglecting the core of their duties that is service delivery and policy making, councillors are conflating the mayorship and the chieftainship, we all got elected from our wards and any one of us out of 25 can be the mayor or rather the political figurehead of the council, we have heard Cllr Tsverere followed by Cllr Maiko and right now I am there and we can’t put the councils’ business on abeyance because of a ceremonial post, so to answer you bluntly I won’t be forced to call for a meeting just to massage someone’s ego, until such time the councillors decide they are now serious about council business it’s pointless wasting residents’ money sitting for useless meetings m, mind you councillors are not full time employees of council, we have technocrats to run council business on a day to day basis so as we speak council business is smooth sailing.

ZCN: When are elections for a substantantive mayor going to be held?

Councillor Mutimbanyoka: Many thanks Mr Masaka for raising the concerns above, am sure the first question I answered it a long time ago, if you go through this write up carefully you will find all your answers there, in my humble view the council has abrogated its right to choose due to some misguided elements within the councillors’ rank n file, they refused to recognise me and yet I was the only person who could have given guidance and direction to the whole process of electing a new Mayor, so my position is if there is anyone with a contrary view, they are free to approach the courts for arbitration, we now need the legal fundis to guide us as far as this issue is concerned coz we are way past the 30days provided for in the Urban Councils Act and I strongly feel it’s now the Hon Minister’s decision to do what is needful to settle this issue once and for all and again in my view I don’t think it’s necessary to labour him to do what he has done already
ZCN: When are the vacant senior positions in council going to be filled. There are a lot of acting senior managers?

Evangelista Machona: I refer you to the Acting Mayor for questions 1 and 2. He presides over council meetings.
Question 3 after their court cases are cleared.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.