Late Alderman Mpofu Was A Thorn In Chombo’s Flesh: Colleagues

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

BULAWAYO City Council Tuesday held a special council meeting in remembrance of late former MDC Alliance deputy mayor, Alderman Amen Mpofu.

Fellow councillors described the late city father as a fearless and open-minded person.

Mpofu (67) died last Friday at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo after battling with a kidney ailment for a long time.

Mpofu’s former workmates who include ex-mayors and councillors credited him for challenging former Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo’s illegal orders and directives.

Former Bulawayo mayor Patrick Thaba Moyo described the late alderman as a fearless and honest person.

“Amen Mpofu was a fearless person who could speak his mind even to ministers. I remember when he clashed with the late town clerk Middleton Nyoni over his acceptance speech when he was elected deputy mayor in 2008,” he said.

Moyo said Nyoni wanted to censor Mpofu’s speech but he stood his ground and refused.

“The late town clerk came to me and asked me to convince the deputy mayor that he should read a prepared speech written by council officials, but instead he insisted on sticking to his own handwritten speech,” said the former mayor.

Moyo said during the day of his inauguration as mayor, Mpofu openly attacked Chombo who was the guest of honour at the function.

“Alderman launched a vicious tongue lashing at Chombo for failing to approve the city council budget. We were all surprised by the attack on the minister. That was Amen for you.”

Alderman PZ Ndlovu also testified another Chombo and Mpofu encounter when the minister controversially scrapped water bills ahead of the 2013 elections.

“When Chombo scrapped all water bills for residents ahead of the 2013 elections, I and Alderman Mpofu confronted him at the Bulawayo Polytechnic where he was officiating,” Ndlovu said.

“We made him sit down and asked him to explain how residents who had already paid their bills were going to be refunded.

“Chombo was at pains to explain the decision and he promised to come back to us.”

Ndlovu said he and the Mpofu at one time walked out of an Urban Councils Association Zimbabwe Association (UCAZ) meeting in Victoria Falls in protest over the amalgamation of the association with the Association of Rural Districts Councils of Zimbabwe (ARDCZ).

“We were attending a UCAZ meeting in Victoria Falls when Alderman Mpofu openly told (Robert) Mugabe that we cannot work together with rural councils because as urban councils our challenges are different. The Bulawayo delegation walked out of that meeting,” said Ndlovu.

Mpofu was buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery Tuesday. He was on 4 January 1954 in Gokwe and is survived by four children.