BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO CHITUNGWIZA acting mayor Kiven Mutimbanyoka has blocked an election for a substantive mayor citing ongoing investigations on some councillors by a commission of inquiry.
On Monday, Citizens Coalition for Change councillor Kudakwashe John moved a motion to elect a mayor and was seconded by party chief whip Richard Chamutsa and former mayor Lovemore Maiko.
In response, Mutimbanyoka, however, said elections could not go ahead because some councillors were under investigation for misconduct and other charges.
“I will not undermine the minister (Local Government July Moyo) by allowing an election to be held. It will not happen. I will not allow that knowing that there is an investigation. We have to be very patient,” Mutimbanyoka said.
Maiko said holding mayoral elections despite the ongoing investigations was lawful.
“At any meeting there can be an election of a mayor. Since there is law guiding this we must act within the confines of the law,” Maiko said.
Mutimbanyoka later walked out of the meeting, and left councillors pressuring Tonderai Kasu, a senior council employee representing acting town clerk Evangelista Machona to write a notice for an election.
Kasu, who had requested to make consultations, told the councillors that he had received a call from the Harare Metropolitan Provincial Affairs and Devolution secretary Tafadzwa Muguti saying elections could not be held.
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In an interview with NewsDay, Chamutsa said they were planning to seek an audience with the Local Government minister over the matter.
“Other authorities held elections without facing hurdles and despite any so-called investigations from the ministry. We are going to visit the minister so that he can give us direction and tell us what he is actually investigating on the issue of councillors wanting to do elections,” Chamutsa said.
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