GWERU: CCC councillors block ‘Freedom of City’ award for Mnangagwa; say Zanu PF leader has run the country down

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By Staff Reporter

CITY of Gweru councillors are locked in a bitter fight over honouring President Emmerson Mnangagwa with a ‘Freedom of the City’ award.

Mayor, Hamutendi Kombayi (MDC-T) has been pushing to have the Zanu PF leader granted the status but the move has been blocked by Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) councillors.

Councillor Josiah Makombe, who is a former mayor, is among the lead opponents of the proposal, arguing that Mnangagwa “is not worthy of any recognition as he has run the country down”.

“The mayor and councillors from MDC-T wanted to give ‘Freedom of the City’ to Mnangagwa which we resisted. We resisted it on the basis that as a community, as a city, and as citizens of Gweru, there is nothing to emulate in Mnangagwa’s leadership,” said Makombe.

“Mnangagwa has not done anything that is worthy for the citizens. Anyone who is given the freedom award would have served exceptionally in that city.

“The accolade is an honour given to that kind of person and to us there is nothing tangible which Mnangagwa has done that points to him as having done something for the people of Gweru,” he said.

The ex-CCC mayor added that the city was battling serious service delivery challenges, among them water shortages, potholed roads and uncollected garbage.

“In terms of service provision, there is nothing,” he argued.

“We are one of the worst cities in terms of refuse removal. He (Mnangagwa) is the one presiding over the economy which is bad, he is the one presiding over the country where people are suffering,” he said.

Mnangagwa hails from Midlands and regarded as the provincial godfather.