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Jacob Mafume puts on brave face

by Staff reporter
16 Sep 2020 at 22:09hrs | Views
NEWLY-ELECTED Harare mayor Jacob Mafume is putting on a brave face, saying the city's operations will not be affected significantly by the recent recall of 21 councillors as they will be replaced soon.
This comes as Harare City Council is now left with 26 councillors out of a possible 47 after the recalls by MDC president Thokozani Khupe on allegations the city fathers were siding with the MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa.

Speaking to the Daily News in an interview yesterday, Mafume allayed fears that the central government could appoint an independent commission to run the city's affairs to avoid paralysing its operations.

"There is no justification for an independent commission because the recalled councilors are going to be replaced in three months after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announced that by-elections will be held in December.

"We understand that the wards whose councillors were recalled have been short-changed and as a party that represents the people, we are naturally unhappy. We know that the city is run by the town clerk, who is not an elected official.

"So, residents are left without a voice, but I can assure you that we will do all we can to make sure that the operations of the city are not disrupted. We still have numbers to form a quorum and not all councillors can be recalled by the Khupe group," Mafume said.

According to the Urban Councils Act, the minister of Local Government can appoint one or more commissioners for a maximum of six months, or until the vacancies are filled in a by-election.

The move to appoint a commission is done when "there are no councillors for a council area or all the councillors for a council area have been suspended or imprisoned or are otherwise unable to exercise all or some of their functions as councillors".

Where there are some councillors still available to exercise some of their functions, any commission must consult these councillors before making any decisions.

A commission is essentially intended as a holding operation since the commission needs ministerial approval to collect rates and fees or sell council land and in the case of Harare, where there are still sitting councillors, any commission would in effect be checking and validating any decisions reached by that group as part of the consultation process.

The latest ii recalled councillors include deputy mayor Enoch Mupamawonde, Lovemore Makuwerere (Ward 24), Gilbert Hadebe (Ward 39), Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi (Ward 19), Simon Mapanzure (Ward 34), Charles Chidhagu (Ward 3o), Keith Charumbira (Ward 8), Steven Dhliwayo (Ward 4o), Barnabas Ndira (Ward 21), Chihoma Runyowa (Ward 29) and Charles Nyatsuro (Ward 6).

Source - dailynews