Suspended Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume says the Citizens Coalition for Change CC party is in the process of filing an urgent application to challenge Local Government Minister July Moyo for attempting to stop their recently elected councilors from participating in council committees and delaying their swearing in.
Mafume accused the minister of obstructing his party’s elected councilors from fulfilling their electoral mandate of service delivery, adding that the decision was meant to punish urban dwellers for voting against ZANU-PF during the by-elections
He was responding to a memo to all local authorities by the Minister directing them not to change the existing mayors, chairpersons and committees as by-elections were not a general election’ which invalidated Council committees.
Mafume said Moyo’s undue interference to stop council committees from sitting was ill-advised and was going to be challenged by the CCC in the courts.
“We have parliamentarians in parliament and they are going to raise the issue during question time with the ministry of Local Government and a motion is going to be put so that a committee is going to be put in place to investigate these actions. We are going to go to court on an urgent basis and we do hope that the judiciary and every stakeholder that we are going to approach will understand that they are also living in these cities and that we have to comply with the law,” said Mafume.
“So we will go to court and we are also going to instruct our councilors and our leadership in the cities to continue working so that if they are punished, they will be punished for working. They will reconstitute the leadership of council, committees and proceed with the meeting that are necessary for service delivery. If the minister of Local Government decides to suspend them for that, then so be it.”
He said as a ZANU-PF Minister, Moyo was desperate to punish the people of Harare for voting CCC, noting however, the squalid conditions in the city affected even the few members of his own party living in the city as well.
“I need our people to understand that we are trying to provide service to them by all means but the minister is making it extremely difficult. What does the removal of councilors and deputy mayors have to do with the sitting of committees of council to do service delivery? There is chaos countrywide, I’m the point person for Local government for the CCC and have been receiving calls from councils all over the country asking me what they should do now since they were supposed to hold their first meetings,” he said.