Harare Mayor Mafume’s job hanging in the balance

Harare Mayor, Jacob Mafume


The two MDC formations are haggling over the Harare mayoral elections held last week with Dr Thokozani Khupe’s MDC-T saying they want the polls nullified.

The Khupe-led formation said the election of Councillor Jacob Mafume from the Tendai Biti’s People Democratic Party (PDP) violated the agreement, which provided that the MDC-T should be the one that provides the mayor.

Cllr Mafume beat Luckson Mukunguma to land the top post in the capital. In an interview yesterday, MDC-T secretary-general Mr Douglas Mwonzora said an agreement that was signed by alliance partners stipulated that the post of the mayor should be occupied by a party that had the greatest number of councillors.

He said the post of deputy mayor should be occupied by the party that had the second highest number of councillors.

“That agreement is still valid and it is the basis upon which the Supreme Court made its determination when it conferred us the legitimacy to be at the helm of the party,” said Mr Mwonzora.

He said there are several options that they were pursuing in consultations with their lawyers.

“We cannot recall a councillor who is not from our political party as what is the case with respect to Cllr Mafume. But one option is to challenge the election result by applying for its nullification, another option is to recall our councillors while another one is to leave it like that. We are still consulting with our lawyers,” said Mr Mwonzora.

Secretary-general of the Chamisa formation Mr Charlton Hwende said the election of councillors were done in terms of the law and not in terms of an Alliance agreement.

“An election of a mayor is done in terms of the Urban Councils Act and not in terms of some controversial agreement. The Act does not make any other references that should be applied in electing a mayor. Councillor Mafume was elected by councillors in terms of that Act and you cannot bring in some paper which is in dispute. If Mwonzora was acting in good faith why did he not allow Councillor Mafume to be deputy mayor from the first instance,” he said.



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