Mayor Jacob Mafume flouts Urban Council’s Act

By Tendai Munengwa

HARARE Mayor Jacob Mafume is in breach of the Urban clCouncils’ Act and a ministerial directive after he restructured council committees.

On April 12, the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Honourable July Moyo wrote to the Harare City Council clarifying that by-elections can not be used as the basis for restructuring council committees.

However, Mayor Mafume went on to announce new structures on Tuesday in defiance of the Urban Councils’ Act, Section 96.

This has not gone down well with some councillors from other political parties with MDC councilors chief whip, Councillor Clifton Zumba describing Mafume’s decision as unlawful.

“The move by Mayor Mafume is out of order. This is in defiance of parent Minister July Moyo’s directive in April where he quoted Section 114 of the law, which stipulates that no restructuring of committees can be done after by-elections. But Mayor Mafume is reported to have derived his powers to change committees from his CCC party, which is not correct.”

Asked to comment, the Minister of Local Government and Public Works said the case is being handled according to the law with a position set to be announced soon.

According to the letter written by Minister Moyo in April, the Mayor or council cannot reconstitute the leadership or chairmanship of council committees unless there is a vacancy.

The development comes at a time the Harare City Council has been exposed by the Auditor General for prejudicing ratepayers of around US$200 million after ditching a tried and tested billing system under questionable circumstances.

The opposition-led Harare City Council is not new to corruption, with several senior officials having been arrested for graft.