By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
Local government minister July Moyo has “illegally” appointed former MDC Alliance Greendale councillor Musarurwa Stewart Mutizwa as acting Harare Mayor according to the party that sponsored his ticket in the 2018 elections.
The appointment of Mutizwa comes after the suspension of Mayor Jacob Mafume due to pending court cases following his controversial arrest last year on ‘dodgy’ abuse of office allegations.
Although Mutizwa was appointed councillor on an MDC Alliance ticket, its reported he defected to the MDC-T under Douglas Mwonzora and has now been co opted by the ruling Zanu PF party.
A source who spoke to Nehanda Radio said; “this appointment betrays underhand dealings where the Minister is trying to control the patronage network that decides which companies supply water chemicals, refuse collection etc.
“Even the so called Urban Renewal project we understand is being done by companies controlled by the Minister. Some of these councillors know they will not retain their seats and are making sure they capitalise on the remaining months in office,” the source told Nehanda Radio.
The MDC Alliance, which was elected to run the councils in Harare, claimed the minister’s interference and appointment of Mutizwa was illegal.
In a letter dated September 29, Moyo said he had taken note “of the contents of the letter dated 24 September 2021 in which a certificate on the declaration of vacancy in the office of the Mayor City of Harare was issued by the Acting Town Clerk.”
“The post has been vacant since 14 September 2021 and the Council has failed and or neglected to appoint an Acting Mayor in terms of Section 104 of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15).
“In terms of Section 104 (2) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15), I hereby appoint S. M. Mutizwa Ward 9 Greendale Councillor as the Acting Mayor for City of Harare with immediate effect,” he said.
MDC Alliance secretary for local governance Sesel Zvidzai said the move by Moyo was unlawful.
“What the Minister is doing is unlawful. He shouldn’t be appointing Acting Mayors at all. Councilors sitting as a college select one of themselves to lead. I wonder why he has this much love for Stewart Mutizwa. I believe the councilor is not the best.
“He just wants someone who will do anything to his bidding. And you know what it is, it is all about creating an environment that is able to breed corruption and it will flourish and the beneficiaries are him, July Moyo and Zanu PF,” he said. Nehanda Radio