January 20, 2022

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Factionalism Causing Chaos At Mutare City Council

By Martin Muleya

Chaos has been reigning supreme at Mutare City Council for the rest of 2021. Things have been getting worse progressively throughout the year followingdthe emise of the late Town Clerk in January.

Maligwa’s death left a huge gap filled with infighting only to fill the vacant seat.

Anthony Mutara who earlier appointed acting  Town Clerk  was suspended on allegations of abuse of office and was replaced by Engineer Tinashe Mtetwa in the same capacity.

Mtetwa who recently graduated with a Master’s degree also vying for this office, and wants to assume the Town Clerk post permanently.

Addressing journalists during a press club session last week Mutare Informal Traders Association (MITA) president Itai Kariparire said in the on-going fights at the Town House are not taking any side.

“Let it be clear that we are not aligned to any faction on the fights of power at Council. We are aware that everybody at council has a faction, there is nobody who can claim to be a saint there. We are there as MITA to fight and destroy every line up.

“There is need to the dictates of Urban Councils Act in selecting a substantive Town Clerk. We need transparency on that issue. We are ready to fight for this directly. We are affected as residents to stay longer with no substantive Town Clerk in the city.

“We no longer need any of the councillors at Civic center as of now. They have failed us. It is now an issue of power struggle everyday. Who is now making sure that as the factional fights are escalating among the councillors, running water reaches Dangamvura surburb?

“Several houses in Muchena and NHB surburbs in Sakubva are cracking yet nobody is bothering to look into all these issues. Who is making sure that running water reaches Chikanga and that residents in Gimboki South have their social amneties addressed?

“The coucillors have all deliberately ignored service delivery,” fumed Kariparire.

Another Mutare residents pressure group United Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Trust (UMRRT) believes factionalism within the opposition is responsible for the mess at Civic Centre.

The main opposition party in the country MDC Mwonzora and MDC Alliance have let this town down. It is sad that all this confusion is being caused by factionalism. All this what is happening are results of the recalls and as CSOs we can’t operate very well right now as a residents association,” said Dube.

Mutare Mayor, Brian Tandi

He added that the situation has become more tense for individuals who are well meaning and have nothing to do with the recruitment or selection of Town Clerk, because the Town House is not holding. There is void on the administration as they are on acting positions.

 

“There is a void on the administration. Most of the guys are in acting capacities and because they sense there is a chance to assume permanence they are now defending those key positions. The most worrying thing is managers have forgotten their key mandate as city fathers. So if managers who are supposed to be implementors of Council resolutions in developing plans for the city, are now meddled in politics when will they find time to supervise various projects outside Civic Centre,” querried UMRRT acting director Eddison Dube.

 

Ward one councillor Thomas Nyamupanedengu, who was present at the press club session admitted that factionalism had taken centre stage in the corridors of power at Civic Centre and added that there was need for urgent resolving of the issue.

 

Nyamupanedengu said there was need to appoint a substantive town clerk.

 

He said there was war among MDC Alliance councillors led by Nelson Chamisa and MDC-T councillors led by Douglas Mwonzora.

 

“What I want to tell you today is that there is war at council as I speak. There are factional fights at council among MDC Alliance councillors and MDC-T councillors, and this has affected service delivery.

 

“This should be addressed as soon as possible,” he said.

 

“Our mayor Blessing Tandi has the power over the town clerk, and that is what I know,” he added.

 

During the meeting, Nyamupandedengu confessed that he supported the MDC Alliance camp fronted by Nelson Chamisa.

 

UMRRT acting Director also highlighted that the power struggles characterizing Council was an indication that as residents their voice doesnt matter in the succession matrix and development of city as a whole.

Efforts to get a comment from Mutare Mayor were fruitless as his mobile was not reachable