NEWLY-APPOINTED Harare acting mayor Chris Mbanga yesterday chickened
out and called off a full council meeting he had arranged after his
party, the MDC-T, threatened to recall him for insubordination.
The MDC-T, which has the majority councillors at Harare’s Town House, has refused to recognise Mbanga’s recent appointment as acting mayor by Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
The main opposition party has insisted that suspended mayor Bernard Manyenyeni remains in the post.
Manyenyeni was last week suspended by Kasukuwere for alleged insubordination and replaced by Mbanga. Both Mbanga and Manyenyeni are MDC-T councillors.
The main agenda for yesterday’s meeting was to reverse the appointment of newly-recruited town clerk James Mushore, whom Kasukuwere claimed was unprocedurally appointed.
Mbanga told NewsDay yesterday that he had postponed the meeting, but could not give reasons for the last-minute decision.
“The meeting has been postponed. We will do it sometime later, not now,” he said.
“I can’t tell you the reason why, but all I can say is the meeting will no longer be held today (yesterday).”
Mbanga also refused to discuss the Mushore issue, saying the matter was before the courts, hence it would be in contempt of the sub judice rule to comment.
“I do not want to talk about Mushore because these issues are before the courts.” However, council officials told NewsDay that Mbanga cancelled the meeting in order not to offend his party leaders.
“He opted to obey the party in a bid to show that he was not a sellout as was being alleged by fellow councillors, but he is refusing to meet Mushore for a brief as he is not recognising him. Instead he is discussing everything with (chamber secretary Josephine) Ncube,” a councillor said.
Meanwhile, Manyenyeni’s court challenge is set to be heard at the High Court today. newsday