By Sharleen Mohammed and Lisa Nyanhongo
MDC Alliance leader Douglas Mwonzora, still smarting from a humiliating defeat in the March 26 by-elections, suffered yet another blow to his political ambitions after his own party’s councillors thwarted a plot to fast-track the election of Harare mayor on Tuesday.
The plan was to elect MDC Alliance’s Stewart Mutizwa as mayor ahead the full council meeting set to take place Thursday when the Nelson Chamisa-led Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) is expected to romp to victory.
But it fell through after councilors boycotted Tuesday’s special council meeting, resulting in just 12 councilors attending.
This meant there was no quorum leading to acting chamber secretary Warren Chiwawa postponing the meeting to Thursday.
Mutizwa is seeking to replace Jacob Mafume who was recalled by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Only 12 councilors turned out so the meeting is being postponed to tomorrow (Wednesday) or Thursday,” Chiwawa announced..
Zanu PF councilor for Mbare Ward 4 Martin Matinyanya said their absence was deliberate, blaming it on CCC president Nelson Chamisa.
“This the third time a meeting has been aborted because people are not sitting in for the meetings. These same people are Nelson Chamisa’s puppets and do not consider poor services residents are receiving,” Matinyanya said.
“Harare service delivery is on a stand still, we need to improve yet other councilors are boycotting such important meetings. These same councilors who are absent today are never late or absent from a workshop because they are very good at collecting per-diems,” he said.
CCC councillors are set to be sworn in at the upcoming full council meeting, whereupon the election of the mayor will be conducted.
Long-serving councillor Enock Mupamawonde, who is bouncing back following his re-election on March 26, is being tipped to become Harare’s next mayor
However, some of the CCC councillors may fail to make it after local government minister July Moyo barred all those with criminal cases before the courts from assuming office until they are cleared.