HARARE – Suspended Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni yesterday savaged Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, saying he is in a dilemma of fulfilling his party duties which is in conflict with his ministerial role.
Addressing a press conference at Harvest House, Manyenyeni said Kasukuwere, who is also Zanu PF political commissar, is required by his party to destroy opposition parties, while as a minister he is required to make sure that MDC-dominated councils perform.
“We have got a minister in dilemma, his party job demands that he decimates the opposition parties, his ministerial job demands that the council performs, that’s the crisis we are facing and at this point in time, he is putting his party way ahead of his ministerial duties,” Manyenyeni said.
“The anti-corruption is currently at Town House investigating the appointment of the town clerk, they are trying to make sure that the appointment will not hold.
“If you look at the five selection processes, we were only involved with one, the four was out-sourced from independent professional parties, that’s the most elaborate selection process ever taken into public sector in this country and its results are tormented by the system.
“They accuse us of under-performing as an MDC-run council, and we need to look for the right tools for the job for us to perform, we were trying to do that but they blocked us.” Manyenyeni was last week suspended for the second time within 24 hours of re-assuming his duty.
MDC secretary for Local Government Eddie Cross said since their party won control of the urban councils, the Local Government minister has abused his powers under the Urban Councils Act and the Town and Country Planning Act to subvert and control the MDC Councils.
“The appointment of the minister of Local Government as the political commissar of the Zanu PF party confirms the role he is playing as a key player who can use his position and his ministry and its considerable resources to establish control over all MDC-led councils.
“The suspension and dismissal of mayors and council chairpersons and even entire councils on spurious grounds in order to intimidate and control councils and to sometimes replace them with partisan commissions which then have controlled all council activity, abuse their positions to make political appointments of senior staff and to misuse council revenues.
“The minister’s abuse of his powers has extended to continuous interference with council decisions and activities, long delays in the approval of council budgets and orders to rescind council decisions affecting basic issues and the general governance of council affairs.”
Efforts to get a comment from Kasukuwere were futile.