Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) secretary for local government and Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume has accused Local Government Minister July Moyo of scuttling service delivery as a way of ‘disciplining’ citizens for voting opposition candidates.
Mafume’s claim come in the wake of a letter addressed to incumbent Mayors and Chairpersons in various local authorities purportedly reminding them that the just ended by-elections were not a general election therefore all Mayors and chairpersons remain constituted prior to the by-election.
Speaking to journalists in Harare, Mafume said the Minister was ill advised as the section he cited has nothing to do with the authority of council to constitute and reconstitute.
“It is apparent that the Minister is either ill-advised or out of depth. In his circular, he cites S114 on the suspension and dismissal of councillors to direct that committees cannot be changed. S114 deals with the suspension and dismissal of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councilors. It has nothing to do with the authority of council to constitute and reconstitute its committees. Neither has any councilor been suspended or dismissed,” said Mafume.
The Mayor said they are desperate to provide services but Moyo is making life difficult for them to carry out the mandate.
“We are desperate to provide services to the people of Harare, the garbage that is spilling and the dry taps are extremely dangerous to the wellbeing of our people. Our people need services not these illegal political games by the Minister.
“We know as a Zanu PF Minister he may be desperate to punish the people of Harare for voting CCC, but the squalor conditions in the city affect even the few members of his own party living in the city as well. I need our people to understand that we are trying to provide service to them by all means necessary but the Minister is making it extremely difficult. We request a little more patience from the citizens as we address this problem of undue interference,” the Mayor said.
He added “We will instruct all our local government cities to ignore this directive to the extent of its illegality. We cannot allow the citizens to suffer or to be punished under our watch simply because they had faith in an alternative and we implore all the other institutions of the State that we are going to deal with and to present these issues to, to understand that they also live in the cities. The judiciary also lives in the cities, it must not allow a situation where the executive subverts the will of the people. Parliament provides oversight on the Minister they must call an urgent Parliamentary Committee that investigates these patently unconstitutional and illegal acts by the Minister.”