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Govt mulls local authority commissions

CHENGETAI ZVAUYA

Government is considering appointing commissions to run the affairs of local authorities following the recall of councillors by MDC-T for insubordination and failing to recognise the leadership of Thokozani Khupe.

The recall has seen 84 councillors in Harare, Bulawayo, Marondera, Gwanda, Beitbridge and Victoria Falls affected. Mayors Chengetai Murowa (Marondera), Jastone Mazhale (Gwanda) and Herbert Gomba (Harare) were recalled.

The recalls have paralysed local authorities amid fears that the government would appoint commissions to ensure the continued operations of the affected local authorities.

Local Government minister July Moyo told Business Times the recalls will affect the operations of the councils and said the ministry would sit with the affected authorities on how “best as government we can help”.

“We are yet to reach a decision of appointing commissioners as we need to study the situation on the ground in the affected councils.

We know that some of the councillors are challenging their recall in courts and we have to consider that as well,” Moyo said.

This comes as recalled councillors from Harare are appealing against the decision.

Recalled Harare deputy mayor Enock Mupamawonde together with 10 councillors have engaged their lawyers to challenge the decision by MDC-T to recall them.

“We as councillors who were elected by the people in our respective wards have approached our team of lawyers to take up the matter in the courts.

“This is part of political victimisation by Khupe and her party because we did not vote for her preferred candidate in the recent elections to choose a new mayor,” Mupamawonde said.

“We hope that we are going to be restored back to our seats as councillors through the courts.

This is a political war which we are going to be fighting legally in courts and politically in our wards.”

MDC-T is using the Supreme Court ruling which recognised Khupe as the acting president of the party pending the holding of an extraordinary congress.

The ruling also restored the party’s 2014 structures.

Her party has also recalled MDC Alliance legislators.

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