There have been divisions and chaos in the Mutare Council since Mayor Brian James called for an audit of the Council’s finances, which was resisted by councilors from his own party, the MDC-T. James was subsequently suspended by Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo.
As a result of the divisions, Muchauraya said the MDC-T councilors participating in the meeting did not support him or the suspended Mayor James.
Muchauraya explained that Deputy Mayor, George Jerison, who is currently the Acting Mayor and also from the MDC-T, moved a motion that Council go into committee stages, which require the public be removed from the gallery.
According to Muchauraya ZANU PF youths immediately “pushed” Mayor James. Journalists who were in the gallery also received the same treatment. “It would be considered assault by the police and our own councilors did not support us,” the legislator said.
Contacted for comment the suspended Mayor James denied that he was roughed up and physically forced out of the council meeting. James said reports of the incident had been “embellished”.
He told SW Radio Africa that he left the gallery after a police chief explained that Chombo’s suspension order forbids him from attending council meetings in any capacity.
“Although I did not agree with him I left because I did not want to cause any problems, especially since there were ZANU PF militia wearing party regalia, hanging around,” James said.
Muchauraya said he believes that James is being diplomatic and trying not to fuel further divisions. The MDC-T provincial spokesman said the party will hold a crisis meeting over the weekend to decide what to do about the situation in Mutare, particularly in regards to the councilors who appear to be supporting a ZANU PF agenda.Post published in: News