THE controversy surrounding the recent appointment of Harare town clerk
James Mushore continued unabated yesterday amid reports the local
authority had refused to provide him with the “necessary support” to
perform his duties in a bid to force him to quit.
Impeccable sources told NewsDay yesterday that Mushore had to use personal resources, including his own car, to travel to the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo.
“He genuinely tried to get per diems and other necessities from council for his travel, but senior managers refused to co-operate. In fact, the acting mayor, Councillor Herbert Gomba, also refused to help him,” a senior council official claimed.
Mushore’s appointment last month has resulted in slanging matches between Harare Municipality, Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere and the opposition MDC-T, leading to last week’s suspension of mayor Bernard Manyenyeni.
Gomba, who is holding fort at Town House for acting mayor Christopher Mbanga, who is already at the ZITF, told NewsDay yesterday that Mushore was not on the list of council officials representing the local authority at the trade fair.
“I did not have to make a decision because Mbanga had already indicated that (chamber secretary) Josephine Ncube would represent the city. You can inquire with him,” Gomba said.
Mbanga confirmed Ncube had been mandated to represent council.
“It was a council resolution made a long time ago that the chamber secretary would represent council. We act on council resolutions,” Mbanga said.
Contacted for comment, Mushore insisted he would be attending the Urban Councils’ Association meeting at the ZITF as Harare town clerk.
“I continue to perform my duties as town clerk, including every engagement as required by my contract,” Mushore said.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said Mushore remained the legally-appointed town clerk for Harare.
“The MDC official position is that Mushore is the lawfully-appointed town clerk for the City of Harare. In terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the City of Harare, as a local authority, is lawfully entitled to select and appoint a town clerk as was the case in the Mushore matter, (who) continues to report for duty,” Gutu said.
Divisions have emerged within the MDC-T over the issue amid reports Mbanga and a group of “rogue” councillors were pushing for Mushore and Manyenyeni’s axing with “tacit support” from party leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Tsvangirai has, however, denied the allegations. Mbanga, according to close sources, was said to have met Mushore early this week and asked the new town clerk to go on voluntary leave, but “Mushore challenged him to put it in writing, which he could not”. newsday