The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Justice and the Chiefsâ€™ Council have castigated the sustained campaign by the MDC-T to destabilise local authorities through a sponsored exercise of demonising Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister, Dr Ignatius Chombo.
The attack comes after MDC -T councillors have intensified efforts to demonise Dr Chombo, who makes final decisions regarding the running of local authorities.
With the councillors having formed an association to advance their sinister motive, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Justice has expressed concern over the calibre of councillors elected in the 2008 harmonised elections, who have no idea of their mandate.
The organisationâ€™s national coordinator, Advocate Martin Dinha said the MDC-T councillorsâ€™ association, which is sponsored by the party handlers, was specifically formed to cause chaos in local authorities and undermine the authority of Minister Chombo, who is tasked by the Urban Councils Act to superintend over local authorities.
He said the agenda is very clear as there is a growing rift between Dr Chombo and his Deputy, Sessel Zvidzai, who is in support of corrupt councillors who were fired.
â€œWe are fully aware of the western hand in the new association formed by councillors to destabilise the local government sector. This is bad as they are fighting Minister Chombo, who was appointed to that portfolio by President Mugabe. It is wrong, councillors and even the deputy minister should know their mandate,â€ Advocate Dinha said.
Chiefsâ€™ Council member, Chief Musarurwa denounced recent reports that the MDC-T councillors have formed an association to fight Minister Chombo, saying they should appreciate that they have the mandate to represent the electorate in council and to address various service delivery challenges in their areas.
â€œThe councillors should know their place in local authorities. They are representatives of the electorate in council and they should just do that. We cannot have a situation whereby councillors want to take over the running of the local government sector,â€ Chief Musarurwa said.
There have been reports of unwarranted interference by the Deputy Minister Zvidzai, who has been advocating for the reinstatement of fired councillors in Harare, as well as former Bindura Mayor, Mr Tinashe Madamombe.
However, Minister Chombo, who is empowered by the Urban Council Act to make final decisions on local authority issues, has intervened to bring sanity in most urban local authorities riddled with corruption and underhand dealings at the expense of service delivery.