What started off as a Zanu PF plot to undermine opposition dominance at the Harare municipality has generated turbulence in the MDC-T which has recalled the Acting Mayor, Chris Mbanga, who was appointed on the party’s ticket.
The capital’s local authority is dominated by the MDC-T which has accused the ruling Zanu PF of plotting to remove its candidates in a move meant to strengthen its support base ahead of the 2018 general elections.
Mbanga is being accused of resisting MDC-T’s call to recognise the appointment of James Mushore as the Town Clerk.
The ongoing saga at Town House resembles that of 2003 when then Local Government minister, Ignatius Chombo, fired the mayor, Elias Mudzuri of MDC and replaced her with Sekesayi Makwavarara who was swayed by Zanu PF and abandoned the opposition party.
Local Government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, suspended Mushore, arguing that his appointment had not been approved by the Local Government Board as required by the law.
The wrangle over Mushore’s appointment claimed the scalp of the mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni, who is currently on suspension.
The MDC-T National Standing Committee agreed to suspend Mbanga pending a disciplinary hearing on a unanimous decision last week.
Manyenyeni told Nehanda Radio on Monday that Mbanga had indicated that he was not comfortable with him, amid allegations that the suspended acting mayor was hobnobbing with Zanu PF so as to become substantive head father at Town House.
Obert Gutu, the MDC-T secretary for information, confirmed Mbanga’s suspension.
Our National Standing Committee had a meeting on Wednesday last week. It was unanimously resolved that we suspend Councillor Mbanga with immediate effect.
“He will appear before the National Disciplinary Committee chaired by our national chairman Mr Lovemore Moyo within 14 days,” he said.
Mbanga, however, said he had not received his letter of suspension, which he said must come from Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T secretary general.
“Communications of that nature come from the secretary general (Mr Douglas Mwonzora). That has not been communicated to me yet,” he said.
Mwonzora was reported to have recommended Mbanga’s suspension last week.
Mushore allegedly threatened to abandon his court challenge of his suspension and leave if the main opposition did not discipline Mbanga.
Suspended mayor, Manyenyeni, has described Kasukuwere as a bluffing comedian who is lying to the world about affairs at the municipality.
He also rapped Jonathan Moyo, the Higher and Tertiary Education minister who recently acted in Kasukuwere’s place and re-suspended him for allegedly failing to act on corruption at Town House.
Manyenyeni insisted that he had been updating the ministry on his work to honour the recommendations of the Auditor General’s office which unearthed irregularities in business units that fall under the local authority.
Mbanga has also fallen out with Mushore, who he blamed for causing confusion by writing a letter of suspension to Josephine Ncube, the Acting Town Clerk