Mafume Leads Shake-up At Harare City Council

Jacob Mafume
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Harare mayor Jacob Mafume has said the local authority has changed leaders of some of its committees following the recall of several councillors by Sengezo Tshabangu.

Tshabangu is a former MDC-T provincial chairman and claims to be the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) interim secretary general.

On Friday, Mafume chaired a full council meeting after some CCC councillors tried to oust him as factionalism in the party continues unabated.

Ward 43 councillor Blessing Duma, also from CCC, attempted to block the meeting with support from a few of his party colleagues.

Duma was reportedly unhappy about the move to remove him from the council’s influential audit committee.

Mafume told The Standard that he had called for the special full council meeting to address service delivery issues and to reconstitute some committees following the recalls. Said Mafume:

We had a special full council meeting at Town House. We discussed issues around service delivery and refuse collection. We changed some committees and reconstituted committees in light of the recalls.

Of course, we had a councillor who wanted to block the special full council meeting because he was afraid of being removed from his committee.

We need to streamline and re-constitute the committees.

Meanwhile, Duma described the special council meeting as illegal. He said:

This is politics that is happening at Harare City Council. The mayor Jacob Mafume wanted to reconstitute committees and you can only reconstitute committees if you have agreed in chambers or just after a general election.

Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) director Precious Shumba condemned Duma’s conduct. He said:

Councillor Blessing Duma is a former employee of the City of Harare in traffic enforcement.

He allegedly committed serious offences, went to a hearing and was discharged from council for his alleged acts of misconduct.

He is the current chairperson of the audit committee, an important committee that is supposed to be leading in establishing good accountability systems in council.

Combined Harare Residents Association spokesperson Reuben Akili said the CCC factional fights have the potential to derail service delivery. Said Akili:

At this moment we don’t require disruptions at Town House. In as much as these people have their political fights they work against service delivery.

What we want is service delivery, it has been a worrying trend to see these fights.

Mafume became the third CCC councillor to be elected mayor since the August 2023 elections following the recall of Ian Makone and his successor Lovejoy Chitengu by Tshabangu.

CCC won the majority of council seats in Harare in the 2023 general elections but the party’s capacity to deliver services for residents has been weakened by the recalls as politics has taken centre stage at Town House.

Reports claim Mafume is sympathetic to Tshabangu while the recalled mayors, Makone and Chitengu were reportedly aligned with CCC leader Nelson Chamisa.

More: Pindula News