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July Moyo old age, ignorance, cripple council operations: Mayor Mafume

Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume has slammed Local Government Minister July Moyo for issuing an “unlawful” directive that will not allow mayors, chairpersons and committees to be changed despite the huge shift in configuration after the by elections.

Moyo issued the directive on Thursday saying councils “cannot reconstitute the leadership architecture in place unless there is a vacancy”.

“As I congratulate the new Councillors who have been elected, may I take this opportunity to remind councils that this was not a general election and as such the sitting Mayors, Deputy Mayors, Chairpersons of Committees and their deputies remain as constituted prior to the By Election,” Moyo said.

“In terms of Section 114 of the Local Government Laws Amendment Act Number 8 of 2016, a Mayor, Deputy Mayor or Councillor can only be removed from his position through an independent tribunal or through Section 129 of the Constitution.

“You are therefore advised that your councils cannot reconstitute the leadership architecture in place unless there is a vacancy.”

Local Government Minister July Moyo
Local Government Minister July Moyo
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But Mafume, a Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) councillor, the party that won the majority of council seats during the by-elections, disagreed with Moyo.

He accused him of quoting a wrong law because of old age.

“He is either ill-advised, wrongly advised or it is a challenge of putting people who are past their retirement age in positions,” Mafume castigated Moyo.

“The man cannot read simple acts of the law. He quotes a section which speaks about the removal of mayors, deputy mayors and councillors.

“That is not what we have done, we have simply reconstituted committees in terms of Section 96 of the Urban Councils Act which states that a council can at any time appoint standing committees of councils and create new ones as it sees fit.

“And sub section 8 of that same Urban Councils Act allows us to reconstitute the members of those committees. And that is basically what we have done at a council meeting.

“We have reconstituted the committees so that they can start meeting across the country and in Harare in particular.

“He sends a secular based on section 114 of the Urban Councils Act which speaks about removal of councillors. We have not sought to remove councillors,” Mafume argued. Nehanda Radio