Tensions escalate as council bars CCC officials from attending meetings


Opposition councillors barred from Chikomba Rural District Council meetings amid lawsuit

Tensions escalated yesterday as four opposition councillors from the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) were denied entry to Chikomba Rural District Council meetings following a lawsuit they filed against the local authority.

The councillors in question, Collen Zvarevashe, Felix Zhakata, Amos Reza, and Ishmael Maukazuva, had sought an interdict from the courts to halt the functioning of council committees, arguing that they were established outside the purview of council business.

Representing Chivhu town, the CCC councillors alleged that ZANU PF had unilaterally appointed its own councillors to key committee positions without the involvement of a full council meeting.

In response, Chikomba District Development Coordinator, Michael Mariga, instructed the councillors to refrain from attending council business until the court case reached a resolution.

Mariga explained that the Local Government and Public Works ministry had directed the council to suspend the councillors’ invitation to meetings until the legal matter had been resolved.

“In view of the order, you are being advised to stop calling for council business for the following councillors: Collen Zvarevashe, Felix Zhakata, Amos Reza and Ishmael Maukazuva. Business will resume after court settlement,” Mariga announced during a full council meeting.

The CCC, which emerged victorious in all urban wards of the Chikomba Rural District Council, represents Chivhu town.

The four councillors engaged legal representation through Tafara Nsingo of Nsingo and Associates. In their lawsuit, they named Chikomba Rural District Council, council chairperson Israel Dhikinya, and 34 ZANU PF councillors as respondents.

Moreover, the councillors alleged that ZANU PF had imposed a rural ward councillor as the chairperson of the town board, despite the opposition securing victory in all urban wards.

The ongoing legal battle has further strained relations between the opposition and the ruling party within the Chikomba Rural District Council. The outcome of the case will undoubtedly have significant implications for the balance of power and decision-making processes within the local authority.

As the lawsuit proceeds, the affected councillors and their legal representatives remain determined to ensure transparency and adherence to democratic principles in the operations of the Chikomba Rural District Council.

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