Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent
THERE was drama at Chitungwiza Municipality when a bid by Zanu-PF councillors to pass a no-confidence vote in Mayor Phillip Mutoti for his alleged failure to run the affairs of the municipality was thwarted by MDC-T councillors. MDC-T councillors outnumbered Zanu-PF councillors in the vote. Councillors who were in favour of his ouster wanted Clr Mutoti to immediately step down while his MDC-T counterparts said the accusations were baseless.
Clr Mutoti is being accused of failing to run the operations of the municipality and failing to convene a special full council meeting which sought to suspend finance director Mrs Evangelista Machona and human resources manager Mrs Mary Mukonyora.
The two are being accused of siphoning more than $200 000 meant for workers’ December salaries. Mrs Machona claims to have transferred about $800 000 into the salaries account in December, while the acting chamber secretary, Mrs Mukonyora, claims only $637 000 was deposited.
A motion moved by the vice chairman of the finance committee, Clr Charamba Mlambo and seconded by Clr Simbiso Mhike, noted that the mayor, instead of supervising council operations, “he is the one being supervised by the operations of the council”. They said Clr Mutoti would remain as councillor as his removal would be determined by Government in accordance with the Urban Councils Act.
“The finance committee together with the general purpose committee in a joint special meeting on 8th of February 2016, after noticing too many irregularities and variances in the finance and human resources financial reports and statements recommended in the presence of Mayor Mutoti that he, without delay, cause for sitting of a special council meeting to consider bringing in auditors to do their job and give final and constructive advice.
“As a result and in the best interest of the municipality we therefore pass a vote of no confidence in Mr Mutoti in his capacity as His Worship the Mayor of Chitungwiza municipality,” reads the motion.
Clr Beaula Jena (MDC-T) said the matter should be resolved amicably as Clr Mutoti had not refused to be corrected if he is in the wrong. Clr Tendai Simon (MDC-T) said: “Clr Mlambo should not write to council that the mayor should step down because he is not the one who appointed him.”
Town Clerk Mr George Makunde argued that councillors should work in accordance with the Constitution on how mayors are voted out of office.