Sunday 14 January 2024


Harare mayor Jacob Mafume says the local authority has changed leaders of its committees to address perennial service delivery problems amid power struggles in the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led council.

Mafume became the third CCC councillor to be elected mayor since the August 2023 elections last month  following the move by the party’s self-imposed secretary general Sengezo Tshabangu to recall Ian Makone and Lovejoy Chitengu.

On Friday, he chaired an explosive full council meeting after some CCC councillors tried to oust him.

 CCC’s ward 43 councillor Blessing Duma attempted to block the meeting with support from a few of his party colleagues.

Duma was said to be unhappy about the move to remove him from council’s influential audit committee.

Mafume said he had called for the special full council meeting to address service delivery issues and to reconstitute some committees after Tshabangu recalled a number of councillors.

“We had a special full council meeting at Town House,” he told The Standard.

“We discussed issues around service delivery and refuse collection. We changed some committees and reconstituted committees in light of the recalls.

“Of course, we had a councillor who wanted to block the special full council meeting because he was afraid of being removed from his committee.

“We need to streamline and re-constitute the committees.”

The mayor said the water and health committees tabled reports on the current water and cholera situation in the capital.

Duma described the special council meeting as illegal.

“This is politics that is happening at Harare City Council,” he said.

“The mayor Jacob Mafume wanted to reconstitute committees and you can only reconstitute committees if you have agreed in chambers or just after a general election."

Harare Residents Ratepayers Trust director Precious Shumba said Duma’s conduct was unbecoming.

 “Councillor Blessing Duma is a former employee of the City of Harare in the traffic enforcement,” Shumba said.

“He allegedly committed serious offences, went to a hearing and was discharged from council for his alleged acts of misconduct.

“He is the current chairperson of the audit committee, an important committee that is supposed to be leading in establishing good accountability systems in council.”

Combined Harare Residents Association spokesperson Reuben Akili said there was need for stability at Town House.

 “At this moment we don’t require disruptions at Town House,” Akili said.

“In as much as these people have their own political fights they work against service delivery.

“What we want is service delivery, it has been a worrying trend to see these fights.” Standard


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