…as he presents State of the City Address
zwnews.com Reporter- Lovemore Lubinda
The city of Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni has described that squabbles emanating from the local government ministry and the former deputy mayor Christopher Mbanga affected a lot of the city delivery processes.
Giving his second state of the City address at the Mayor Mansion today, Manyenyeni blamed the fall out for crippling progress at Town House.
“I spent weeks on two suspensions from the office including two days in police custody as two government ministers and some arms of the state took turns to traumatize the office, style and person of the mayor,” said Manyenyeni.
He said bickering over the appointment of James Mushore as Town Clerk and allegations by the local government ministry for failing to initiate an internal audit on alleged malpractices at Town house were the sore issues that retarded important city services.
The government rejected Mushore’s soon after his appointment on allegations that the local authority had not followed laid-down procedures in recruiting the city’s top official as outlined in the Urban Council’s Act and Local Government Board regulations.
“For Harare the template is for a top professional with global experience and in Mushore we had secured the right person,” said Manyenyeni.
Mushore ‘s case with the city is still pending before the courts.
Harare City Council recently elected Councillor Enoch Mupamaonde as the new deputy mayor, after the resignation of Christopher Mbanga.
Mbanga, who resigned after strong opposition from his MDC-T party, was blamed for siding with the beleaguered Local Government and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere on issues regarding the appointment.
Following Manyenyeni’s suspension, councillor Mbanga who was acting mayor reportedly failed recognise Mushore.
The party in turn the party’s National Standing Committee recommended Mbanga’s suspension pending disciplinary action. Since then, the working relationship between Mbanga and Manyenyeni was said to have gone sour, with residents saying it was not health for service delivery.
Councillor Mbanga in his resignation letter [a copy sent to this publication] confessed that a rift had developed in his party as a result of his continued stay as deputy mayor.
“You will recall that there have been incessant pressures and controversies surrounding my continued tenure as Deputy Mayor of the city and I was supposed to go for a hearing which never materialised,” he wrote in a letter addressed to his party MDC-T.
Mbanga said the matter was now water under the bridge and he thanked his party for having had afforded him opportunity to serve in the deputy mayor’s capacity. He pointed out that he would now concentrate more in monitoring and paying closer attention to the needs and problems of his ward.