Fac­tional fights sim­mer in coun­cil

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

DI­VI­SIONS are sim­mer­ing among Bu­l­awayo’s new coun­cil­lors amid rev­e­la­tions that there is bad blood be­tween the city’s Mayor Solomon Mguni and his deputy Ti­nashe Kam­barami re­sult­ing in the for­mer side-lin­ing the later in coun­cil pro­grammes.

So tense are the di­vi­sions that Clr Mguni has been spot­ted on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions work­ing with the party’s pre­ferred mate, Ward One coun­cil­lor Clr Mlandu Ncube who was beaten to the post of deputy mayor by Clr Kam­barami. In the vote by the coun­cil­lors, Clr Kam­barami got 16 votes while Clr Ncube got 13 votes.

Re­ports fur­ther in­di­cate that Clr Mguni and his fac­tion are an­gling MDC Al­liance leader Ad­vo­cate Nel­son Chamisa to force Clr Kam­barami to step down not­ing that the party had ini­tially backed Clr Ncube for the po­si­tion of deputy mayor, a move that was re­sisted by a ma­jor­ity of the coun­cil­lors.

Clr Mguni re­cently posted on his so­cial me­dia ac­counts a pic­ture in his may­oral of­fice at the Large City Hall af­ter meet­ing with a group of po­ten­tial in­vestors to the city, also in the pic­ture are Clr Ncube, Clr Sikhu­l­ulek­ile Moyo and Clr Hap­pyson Ncube.

“Met this del­e­ga­tion from a UK uni­ver­sity who want to part­ner Bu­l­awayo in the de­vel­op­ment of sus­tain­able ur­ban agri­cul­ture,” reads a quote ac­com­pa­ny­ing the pic­ture.

Sources re­vealed that the lo­cal au­thor­ity was al­ready di­vided into two war­ring fac­tions, one led by Clr Mguni who has re­port­edly vowed to work with Clr Mguni while Clr Kam­barami also leads an­other fac­tion which calls them­selves the “anti-cor­rup­tion” group.

“As it stands there is bad blood be­tween Clr Mguni and Clr Kam­barami, although in pub­lic they might not show it but within coun­cil cor­ri­dors it has be­come ap­par­ent be­cause the mayor is al­ways with Clr Ncube even when do­ing of­fi­cial coun­cil busi­ness, one might even think Clr Ncube is the deputy mayor.

“Fur­ther we hear the camp is call­ing on the MDC Al­liance lead­er­ship to do what they did in Masvingo and or­der Clr Kam­barami to step down in favour of Clr Ncube who was ini­tially the favourite to land the po­si­tion of deputy mayor,” said the source.

Con­tacted for com­ment, Clr Ncube, who is said to have quit his job at a lo­cal su­per­mar­ket in an­tic­i­pa­tion of be­ing elected deputy mayor, re­futed the al­le­ga­tions that he was a pseudo deputy mayor, claim­ing he had gone for over four days with­out see­ing or in­ter­act­ing with Clr Mguni.

Ques­tioned on whether he still en­ter­tained am­bi­tions of be­com­ing a deputy mayor, Clr Ncube said while he still re­mained an or­di­nary coun­cil­lor, he was await­ing the MDC Al­liance for di­rec­tion on the next step to take.

“For now I am sim­ply con­tin­u­ing as an or­di­nary coun­cil­lor while await­ing guid­ance from the party, as for the al­le­ga­tions that Clr Mguni prefers to work with me more than the deputy mayor that is far from be­ing true be­cause as we speak I last saw him four days ago,” said Clr Ncube.

Con­tacted for a com­ment Clr Mguni re­futed the al­le­ga­tions say­ing what hap­pened in the may­oral elec­tions was a past event.

“Those are lies that there is still bad blood be­tween the two of us, we are in good re­la­tions with the Deputy Mayor, yes­ter­day (Fri­day) we were to­gether at a meet­ing with the min­is­ter (July Moyo). We be­long to the same po­lit­i­cal party, we are work­ing to­wards our goal to de­velop Bu­l­awayo,” said the mayor.

Mean­while, coun­cil­lors on Thurs­day met to vote for chair­per­sons of coun­cil com­mit­tees, a vote that was once again marred by fac­tional ten­sions with each of the fac­tions try­ing to as­sert their dom­i­nance in coun­cil cham­bers.

At the end of the day it was how­ever, the “anti-cor­rup­tion” fac­tion that came out vic­to­ri­ous with the ma­jor­ity of their fac­tion mem­bers man­ag­ing to win the ma­jor­ity votes.

The win­ning coun­cil­lors were Clr Con­cilia Mlalazi (Health, Hous­ing and Ed­u­ca­tion), Clr Si­las Chig­ora (Fi­nance and De­vel­op­ment), Nor­man Hla­bano (En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment and Engi­neer­ing Ser­vices), Clr Rod­ney Jele (Town Lands and Plan­ning), Si­bon­iso Khu­malo (Fu­ture Water Sup­plies and Water Ac­tion) and Clr Mlandu Ncube (Au­dit).

How­ever, for the all pow­er­ful Gen­eral Pur­poses Com­mit­tee which is chaired by the mayor and deputised by Clr Kam­barami, Clr Ncube who chairs the au­dit com­mit­tee does not sit in this com­mit­tee mean­ing in cases that the body has to vote over a key is­sue, the anti-cor­rup­tion fac­tion will con­quer at four votes to three.

On deputy chair­per­sons coun­cil­lors elected; Clr Sinikiwe Mtanda (Fi­nance and De­vel­op­ment), Clr Mil­dred Ncube (Town Lands and Plan­ning), Clr Sikhulek­ile Moyo Khu­malo (Fu­ture Water Sup­plies and Water Ac­tion), Clr Ron­niah Mu­dara (Health, Hous­ing and Ed­u­ca­tion) and Clr Feb­bie Msipa (au­dit).

The se­lec­tion of the com­mit­tee chair­per­sons means it’s now busi­ness as usual within coun­cil cham­bers with coun­cil­lors now be­ing able to meet in their var­i­ous coun­cil com­mit­tees to de­lib­er­ate on key coun­cil mat­ters with the full coun­cil meet­ing sit­ting in the first Wed­nes­day of ev­ery month to ei­ther en­dorse or turn down what­ever was dis­cussed in the com­mit­tees.

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