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Power struggles at Bulawayo City Council as Chamisa’s ally returns




Tinashe Kambarami

The recently reinstated Ward Three Councillor Tinashe Kambarami is fighting to be reinstated to his position of Deputy Mayor. Clr Kambarami who was reinstated as councillor by the High Court, had been replaced by Clr Mlandu Ncube.

On Monday, Clr Kambarami is said to have disrupted the General-Purpose Committee meeting which is attended by committee chairpersons, deputy mayor and mayor only. Clr Kambarami wants council to reinstate him as Deputy Mayor, a position he held before the High Court ruled in 2019 that he was unfit for office after he was convicted of theft.

The Deputy Mayor (Councillor Mlandu Ncube)

There is now infighting among councillors which are now divided into two camps and management is said to be not helping the situation by taking sides in the fight. Sources said on Monday council nearly failed to hold a General-Purpose Committee meeting as Clr Kambarami wanted to participate in the meeting.

“When he attended the meeting, the mayor requested that he excuse himself as he was not recognised as a chairperson of any committee or the deputy mayor of the city. He, however, refused to leave the council chambers until Clr Ncube conceded that himself and Clr Kambarami should not be part of the meeting,” said a source.

Clr Mguni castigated Clr Kambarami for disrupting council business saying his behaviour was not acceptable.

“He is desperate for attention and wants things done his own way yet is he in violation of laid down procedures. Enforcement of a court order is done by council as a collective and not by individuals. Unfortunately he seems to have personal issues with me. Yes, he stormed the General Purposes Committee meeting when the committee was about to discuss the item relating to his reinstatement,” said Clr Mguni.

Councillor Solomon Mguni

He said as far as council is concerned, Clr Ncube remains the city’s Deputy Mayor. 

“Remember council is yet to sit and consider his reinstatement. It was the first time that the committee was getting the briefing on the issue. Obviously, Clr Ncube had been invited as a member as no changes have been made yet. Only council can assign members to different committees. 

“We were all taken by surprise because he had not been invited to the meeting by either the Chamber Secretary (Mrs Sikhangele Zhou) through a notice of the meeting or by myself as chairman of the committee,” said Clr Mguni.

He  said when Clr Kambarami refused to leave the meeting, they asked Clr Ncube to leave. Clr Mguni said it was non-procedural for Clr Kambarami to pre-empt the 7 September full council meeting which will discuss his reinstatement.

Mr Tinashe Kambarami

He said councillors will be guided by legal opinion on the issue.

“All I can say is that the city could not have stopped transacting business and providing services to its residents and stakeholders for three years because someone was away. For as long as there is a quorum council will operate and it has been operating efficiently since 2019,” he said.

Contacted for comment, Clr Kambarami said he attended the meeting in his capacity as the city’s deputy mayor.

“The court judgement said implement with immediate effect so I don’t know what procedures they are talking about. I was attending the General’s Purpose Committee meeting in my capacity as the city’s deputy mayor. The meeting is attended by five committee chairpersons and the deputy mayor and the mayor.  We served the council with the judgement more than a week ago,” said Clr Kambarami.

He said he only left the meeting as he did not want to have a bad exchange of words with any one in council. Clr Kambarami is not a stranger to drama within council as he was involved in a fracas with Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube in 2019.




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