HARD-PRESSED Harare City Council was on Tuesday forced to postpone the critical decision making full council meeting for the third-time in as many weeks over mayoral chaos, Zim Morning Post has learnt.
A full council meeting which was scheduled to take place online on Tuesday afternoon failed to kick-off after some councillors denied or failed to recognise embattled Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume as the capital city’ boss.
Mafume was suspended by Local Government Minister July Moyo last year pending the finalisation of his criminal trial. He is being accused of illegally allocating two stands to his relatives.
He returned to work in early August, insisting that his dates of suspension by Moyo had lapsed without any hearing and that entitled him to return to work.
His return, inadvertently plunged council into chaos with councillors and management caught between taking instructions from Mafume who is backed by Nelson Chamisa or to pay allegiance to acting mayor Musarurwa Mutizwa who is backed by Douglas Mwonzora.
The impasse has shelved key decisions from being made as council’s highest decision making body aborts full council meetings due to factional fights.
On Tuesday, a large section of Councilors wanted Stewart Mutizwa to Chair the meeting at the expense of Mafume.
Sources who spoke to Zim Morning Post said most councillors prefer Mafume but for fear of victimisation from MDC T President Douglas Mwonzora they have decided to side with with Mtizwa.
“We all want Mafume as the Mayor but it is difficult for us to side with him because Mwonzora’s axe will chop us,” a councillor who refused to be named told Zim Morning Post
Two weeks ago Council again failed to hold the meeting this time citing, “the need for councillors to study and comprehend the full council minutes.”
However, some sources have revealed problems on the identity of the Mayor as the main problem.
A source within council said the Councillors have failed to agree on who will chair the full council meeting following the return of Mafume.
“It’s a crisis at Town House. They are both claiming to be the leader of the council,” a councilor said
Mutizwa was appointed acting Mayor following the arrest and recall of successive mayors including Herbert Gomba and his deputy Enock Mupamawonde.
Political strife in the MDC Alliance has worsened service delivery at Harare council with the Harare Mayor post becoming a battleground between opposition factions.
Farai Mtetwa, a resident of Harare said Mafume and Mtizwa fights are affecting service delivery in the capital city.
“A full council meeting is of paramount importance and this is the third time it is being postponed, we cannot continue like this, this is hindering service delivery,” Mtetwa said. – Zim Morning Post