HIGH Court Judge Justice Edith Mushore will on Friday 31 August 2018 preside over the hearing and determination of an urgent chamber application filed by some residents associations and water rights campaigners seeking an order to suspend the appointment of some Caretaker Commissions to run the affairs of local authorities.
In an urgent chamber application filed at the High Court on Tuesday 28 August 2018, the Community Water Trust Alliance (CWTA), Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) and Chitungwiza and Manyame Residents Association (CAMERA) argued that Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo’s appointment of some Caretaker Commissions to run the affairs of Harare City Council (HCC) and Chitungwiza Town Council (CTC) is unconstitutional.
CWTA, CHRA and CAMERA, which are represented by Denford Halimani of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human, argued that Moyo’s appointment of Commissioners is an attempt to defeat a legitimate democratic process of elections because voters chose their preferred candidates to preside over the affairs of HCC and CTC.
The applicants are aggrieved that Moyo early in August 2018 appointed Bella Makanyara, Shingai Mutumbwa, Joseph Macheka, Irene Chakwizira, Zivanai Chisango and one C Kampila to serve as Commissioners who preside over HCC and CTC’s affairs pending the swearing in of councillors.
But CWTA, CHRA and CAMERA argued that councillors were elected on 30 July 2018 and in terms of the law they should have been sworn in nine days after the announcement of the election results hence there is no legal basis for the appointment of Commissioners and Moyo’s decision is unconstitutional and grossly irregular.
The residents associations and water rights campaigners expressed concern that if the Caretaker Commissions are allowed to preside over the HCC and CTC affairs’, they have the potential to make permanent decisions which will adversely affect ratepayers and residents.
CWTA, CHRA and CAMERA further stated that it is grossly unreasonable for Moyo to saddle ratepayers with expenses to pay for the services rendered by the Commissioners as local authorities are already experiencing serious financial constraints.
The residents associations and water rights campaigners want the High Court to suspend the appointment of Makanyara, Mutumbwa, Macheka, Chakwizira, Chisango and Kampila from presiding over the affairs of HCC and CTC.
CWTA, CHRA and CAMERA also want the High Court to compel the Town Clerks for HCC and CTC to swear in the elected councillors for HCC and CTC to enable them to commence their duties.
The application will be heard by Justice Mushore on Friday 31 August 2018 at 11 am.
Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights