Tsvangirai reads riot act to acting mayor


Augustine Mukaro/Blessing Zulu

MOVEMENT for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday read the riot act to Harare acting mayor Sekesai Makwavarara for breaching the party’s po

sition not to implement government directives without full council approval.



Makwavarara on Wed-nesday issued dismissal letters to Mudzuri’s bodyguards, aides and a protocol officer and sent his driver on forced leave on the orders of Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo.


Makwavarara’s actions caused a furore in the MDC-dominated council which prompted Tsvangirai to intervene.


The MDC took a decision in May not to recognise mayor Elias Mudzuri’s suspension, the Zimbabwe Independent heard.


Tsvangirai yesterday summoned all Harare councillors to an urgent meeting at which Makwavarara’s decisions were declared null and void.


One of the councillors who attended the two-hour meeting said Makwavarara’s actions were unprocedural and did not represent council’s position.


“A full council (meeting) should be given time to deliberate on the issue and it is only after those deliberations that such a decision can be taken. Her decisions were by a one-man band and therefore null and void.”


The councillor also said the directive to withdraw the mayoral benefits were unconstitutional because they were not spelt out anywhere in the Urban Councils Act.


“The Act says the minister can only suspend the mayor but it is silent on his benefits. This leaves the directive subject to challenge in court,” he said.


Mudzuri’s lawyer Beat-rice Mtetwa said the suspension of privileges was unprocedural.


“If the minister wants to withdraw those benefits he must first have a court order,” said Mtetwa.


“The mayor will not vacate the mayoral mansion since the original order sought by Chombo did not include that,” she said.


Mudzuri was arrested twice this week for turning up for work at Town House after the expiry of his official leave. On both occasions he was released without charge.


“During the second arrest police warned me that I should not report for work saying that I would cause commotion. I will always be reporting for work until the court makes a ruling and I have actually ordered council officials to bring all my work to me,” said Mudzuri on Wednesday.


Mudzuri said he was sent a copy of the letter written by Chombo to council ordering his eviction from the official residence and the withdrawal of his official vehicle.

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