NEWLY-APPOINTED acting Harare mayor Chris Mbanga yesterday flexed his
muscles and barred town clerk James Mushore from setting foot at Town
House until his contentious appointment has been regularised.
Mbanga’s move angered fellow MDC-T councillors, who labelled him a sell-out and accused him of taking orders from Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
Mbanga took over as acting mayor on Wednesday after mayor Bernard Manyenyeni was suspended for allegedly defying Kasukuwere by refusing to rescind Mushore’s appointment as council chief executive officer.
Yesterday, Mushore briefly appeared at Town House, but left before midday after Mbanga allegedly gave him the marching orders. Mbanga confirmed that he had stopped Mushore from reporting for duty.
“As far as I know, Mushore is not reporting to work until the matter is finalised,” he said.
On charges of being a sell-out, Mbanga said: “That’s utter rubbish. I have a good working relationship with my boss (Manyenyeni). It’s true that I was called by the minister yesterday (Wednesday) to be briefed on what had transpired and that I have effectively taken over as the city’s acting mayor pending the finalisation of the matter. Not that I am a sell-out.”
But his fellow MDC-T councillors insisted that Kasukuwere was using Mbanga to divide them. Manyenyeni declined to comment over the matter, saying he had been gagged by the party from speaking to the media.
“I can’t give you an interview on that matter at the moment. I would have loved to comment and give you more, but I can’t,” Manyenyeni said.
Yesterday, Manyenyeni filed an urgent High Court chamber application challenging his suspension. In his application filed under case number HC4161/16, Manyenyeni said: “The power to remove a mayor, chairperson or councillor is no longer vested in a minister, but in an independent tribunal set up in terms of an Act of Parliament.”
Manyenyeni further alleged that Kasukuwere had behaved as a bully, threatening to block decisions made by the local authority at a meeting attended by three other mayors.
He is represented by human rights lawyers David Hofisi and Dzimbabwe Chimbga. newsday