Beleaguered Harare City Council yesterday had to postpone the critical decision making full council meeting due the ongoing mayoral chaos.
Management was in confusion on whether to report to the suspended Mayor Jacob Mafume or acting Mayor Musarurwa Mutizwa.
Both “mayors” are claiming to be in charge of the city after suspended Mafume and his aide occupied the mayoral office, claiming that his suspension has ended, although his vehicle and the driver were still working for the acting Mayor Mutizwa.
Harare City Council spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme confirmed the postponement of the full council meeting citing other reasons.
“The meeting was postponed to allow for more time for councillors to study and comprehend the full council minutes,” he said.
A councillor who spoke to our publication on condition of anonymity said the meeting had been aborted due to the mayoral chaos.
“The meeting has been re-scheduled for next week pending the finalisation of the mayoral issue as the councillors are divided on who will chair the meeting.
“Some are adamant that Mutizwa should chair while others prefer Mafume. It’s a catch 22 situation. We just hope by next week, there will be a clear position,” said the councillor.
If the impasse continues, it means the local authority will likely take forever without making key city decisions which are supposed to be rubber stamped during a full council meeting, the city’s highest decision making body.
Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo last year suspended Mafume both as a mayor and a councillor pending the outcome of his criminal trial, including the allocation of council stands to his sister and law firm’s secretary.
The other case involved bribing a potential key witness.
Mafume’s criminal cases are still pending at the courts, but he insists that his dates of suspension by Minister Moyo lapsed without any hearing and that entitles him to return to work.
Acting Mayor Mutizwa was appointed following the arrest, recall and suspension of successive mayors, including Herbert Gomba and his deputy Enock Mupamawonde.
Their successors, Mafume and his deputy Luckson Mukunguma were also arrested and suspended.