Harare residents have fingered the Minister of Local Government as the major player fueling and causing confusion at City of Harare. This emerged at a Star FM Radio Program held yesterday night.
One of the callers during the program alleged that the chaos of having “two” Mayors at the local authority was a deliberate ploy to destroy Harare with the intention to justify replacing the remaining elected councils with an appointed commission.
“As residents we know that the chaos is being caused by the Minister and his intention is to put a commission to run the council,” said the caller.
On the suspension and returning of Jacob Mafume as the Mayor of Harare, residents supported the actions by Mayor Jacob Mafume of returning to work citing that the Minister of Local Government has failed to deal with the suspension in accordance with the law.
“A person is suspended at a given time and it is anticipated that before that time lapses the case must be dealt with and cleared and one must come back to work if nothing happens and Mafume’s decision to come back at Town house is very correct”, said another caller.
Section 278(2) of the Constitution states that “an Act of Parliament must provide for the establishment of an independent tribunal to exercise the function of removing from office mayors, chairpersons and councillors.”
The Local Government Amendment Laws of 2016, Section 114 (4) provides for procedures of removal of Mayors and Councillors and calls on the Minister to cause establishment of an independent tribunal within 45 days after the suspension of the Mayor or Councillor.
The residents who participated via voice calls on the Radio Program were in unison arguing that no person can be suspended indefinitely as this was unlawful.
Yesterday Mayor Jacob Mafume presided over a physical full Council Meeting at Town House that was constituted by councilors and senior Council Management.
However, Councilor Mutizwa, the Acting Mayor, remained adamant that he was the Mayor for the City.
“The situation at Town house remains the same, I remain the Mayor for Harare even though Councilor Mafume is there and proceed to chair the full council meeting which is against government directive” said Mutizwa.
Mayor Mafume was suspended last year in November on allegations of corruption but no disciplinary measures or tribunal was set in accordance with the law to deal with the matter.
CHRA calls for speedy and implementation of devolution as provided by Chapter 14 of the Constitution, reform of all local government laws and depoliticisation of service delivery.
Source: Combined Harare Residents Association