Mbanga defies party orders to quit


HARARE – Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has been dealt a blow by a leadership wrangle at Harare’s Town House.

Acting mayor Chris Mbanga, who took over as acting mayor in March after mayor Bernard Manyenyeni was suspended by government for insubordination, said he does not recognise a resolution that recalled him. This comes after he barred the new town clerk from doing his job.

MDC Harare provincial chairperson Eric Murai a fortnight ago said the party had recalled Mbanga and three councillors on allegations that they had been compromised by Zanu PF specifically on the contentious issue of the city’s town clerk.

But speaking in an interview with the Daily News over the weekend, Mbanga rubbished claims he had gone rogue.

“The talk of being recalled, I think it’s premature,” Mbanga said.

“The (MDC Harare) provincial chairman and his executive have not followed due disciplinary processes that need to be taken to come to that conclusion.”

Mbanga said he did not happily accept and step in to fill the breach left by the suspension of his boss, but was bound by duty to do so.

He said Kasukuwere “by no means granted” him the acting mayor position but it fell on him by virtue of being deputy mayor.

“I am still the acting mayor of the City of Harare by virtue of the fact that I am the deputy mayor. It’s not an appointment that was done by Kasukuwere. It’s given when you are deputy mayor and the mayor is not there, you act in his absence,” Mbanga said.

He said there was no need to doubt his loyalty to the MDC.

Mbanga also scoffed at claims he is now taking orders from Kasukuwere.

“Those are careless statements. I haven’t gone rogue. I’m a child of the MDC, … Tsvangirai is my president. The MDC is my home. I’m not going anywhere,” he said.

Mbanga described his relationship with the Zanu PF political commissar as strictly “professional.”

“Our relationship has been misconstrued,” he said.

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