Defiant CCC councillors dismiss July Moyo, elect new Harare mayor

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By Thandiwe Garusa and Lisa Nyanhongo

CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) councillors Friday defied local government minister July Moyo’s directive not to get involved in council activities including electing a mayor of their choice and proceeded to vote for Enock Mupamawonde as acting Harare mayor.

Mupamawonde is CCC councillor for ward 35.

Moyo had directed that all sitting mayors, their deputies and chairpersons of committees remain in office even after losing in the recently held by-elections.

“In terms of section 114 of the local government laws amendment act number 8 of 2016, a mayor, deputy mayor, or councillor can only be removed from his position through an independent tribunal or through section 129 of the constitution.

“You are therefore advised that your councils cannot reconstitute the leadership architecture in place unless there is a vacancy,” Moyo said in a circular.

The full council meeting had postponed after sitting MDC-T council committee chairpersons approached the courts to stop it from deliberating on changes within town house’s leadership structure.

CCC councillors proceeded with the ordinary council meeting and appointed Mupamamawonde acting mayor.

Addressing councillors in that meeting Mupamawonde said they are not fighting the minister but what was best for citizens.

“We are civil leaders, and we are not fighting the minister because he is also our minister.

“We want to work with everyone for the benefit of citizens, even the President because he also belongs to the city of Harare,” Mupamawonde said.

Mupamawonde replaces MDC-T mayor Stewart Mutizwa.

Moyo has been fingered in the prolonged leadership vacuum in Harare’s council, with allegations he is in support of Mutizwa whose Douglas Mwonzora led party has cosied up to Zanu PF.