New Zimbabwe.com

Kwekwe councillors angry as minister ‘turns us into Zanu PF commissars’

William Milasi

MDC-T councillors in Kwekwe have slammed Kwekwe City Council (KCC) management for allowing Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister Owen Ncube for turning the Zanu PF dominated council into the governing party’s appendage.

Councillors from the opposition have said city boss Emmanuel Musara-a well- known Zanu PF supporter-the management and Ncube, are hijacking council programmes for Zanu PF rallies.

The opposition has been piling pressure on Musara urging him to resign after making known his political allegiances.

The city CEO who is expected to retire this year after over two decades at the helm is smarting from Zanu PF primary elections defeat at the hands of Archbishop Kandross Mugabe who is set to represent the ruling party in the coming general polls.

Zanu PF has said that Musara is allowed to continue with his duties at Town House after his loss.

Councillors are accusing Ncube of turning the launch of a road rehabilitation programme in Kwekwe into a Zanu PF function.

“Management must not allow political programmes to be mixed with party programmes. It is unhealthy for the development of our city,” charged ward 10 Councillor Aaron Gwalazimba in a recently held full council meeting.

“The minister has no right to turn council business into Zanu PF activities,” he said.

“We all know each other and where we belong in terms of politics but for the sake of developing our city we must set that aside and concentrate in developing our city,” he said.

Opposition councillors are also accusing Ncube of turning them into Zanu PF political commissars.

“We are not going to allow a situation where Zanu PF wants to turn us into their political commissars. Council business must be confined to council business. We don’t have a problem with the Minister calling his own meeting and addressing his own supporters,” ward 1 councillor Mbekezeli Ndlovu said.

He also accused Zanu PF of abusing school buses for its party programmes.

Finance and Committee Chairperson Janet Ticharunga weighed in.

“We came to the function because we were invited as councilors for council business. If the minister knew that he wanted to turn the event into a political function we would not have attended,” she said.

However Zanu PF councilers sprung to the defence of the minister.

“The Minister stated clearly that after the official launch of the road programmes that he had finished his official duties as a government minister. He told the gathering that he was now talking as a Zanu PF member. At that juncture MDC-T councillors were told that they were free to leave,” Ward 5 councillor Assum Musa said.

The councillors from the governing party added that the former MDC-T leader the late Morgan Tsvangirai when he was a premier he turned government programmes into party programmes without any qualms.

“The late former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai used to do the same. He said he was the one who brought money into this country on party grounds and no-one made an issue out of it. Why is it any issue now?” Zanu PF councillor Lemison Dube said.

Acting Town Clerk Lucia Mkandla admitted management’s failure and promised the fuming councillors that appropriate measures will be taken.

“We take note of the concerns and we promise to contact the powers that be,” she said.