By A Correspondent- Harare City Council has suspended full council meetings because of confusion over the city’s Mayor.
The city fathers shelved the meetings after some councillors refused or recognized councillor Jacob Mafume as the Mayor.
Mafume was suspended by Local Government Minister July Moyo last year pending the finalization of his trial in a case he is accused of criminal abuse of office after he illegally allocated two stands to his relatives.
He returned, arguing that his suspension has lapsed without any hearing, which entitles him to return to work.
However, Mafume’s return has plunged the local government authority into chaos as councillors and management are now divided between taking instructions from him or the acting Mayor Stewart Mutizwa.
Most councillors prefer Mafume but are siding with Mutizwa for fear of victimization from MDC-T President Douglas Mwonzora.
“We all want Mafume as the Mayor but it is difficult for us to side with him because Mwonzora’s axe will chop us”, said some councillors who refused to be named.
MDC-T has since the 2020 Supreme Court ruling on the MDC leadership crisis recalled several legislators and councillors (including 45 Harare councillors) for siding with Nelson Chamisa.
However, councillor Mutizwa insists that Mafume needs to be acquitted for offences levelled against him for him to resume as Mayor.
“Mafume insisted on chairing the meeting and we cannot allow that until his name has been cleared.
Two weeks ago, Council again failed to hold the meeting this time citing “the need for councillors to study and comprehend the full council minutes,” said Mutizwa.
Mutizwa was appointed acting Mayor following successive mayors’ arrest and recall, including Herbert Gomba and his deputy Enock Mupamawonde.
However, City of Harare spokesperson Michael Chideme said the full Council failed after councillors couldn’t constitute a quorum.