CHITUNGWIZA councillors yesterday elected MDC-T’s Musekiwa Ruzvidzo as acting mayor ahead of Zanu PF’s Betty Jasoni Dokora.
The move all but sealed the fate of the three-member Madzudzo Pawadyira-led commission which residents had taken to court over its continued stay after the expiry of its term of office last year.
Ruzvidzo won by one vote after the seven MDC-T councillors and six from Zanu PF held a secret ballot at council chambers following nominations of the two candidates for the post.
Town clerk Charity Maunga told NewsDay in an interview that the election of Ruzvidzo was done as required by the law, particularly Section 104(3) Chapter 29 of the Urban Council’s Act.
“This was done according to Section 104(3) Chapter 29 of the Urban Council’s Act. He is acting mayor until such a time that we have a mayor and or deputy mayor the moment one of those comes back the acting mayor’s term of office automatically expires.
“This is just to ensure the smooth running of council business because for council there is need for a chair of council meetings and the mayor does that functions. Since there is no mayor or deputy mayor we have to elect an acting mayor to fill-in for the mayor or deputy mayor and also to perform any other function that may be so required,” Maunga said.
Asked about the fate of the commission Maunga referred all the questions to Local Government minister, July Moyo who was not reachable yesterday.
“I was not the appointing authority so I can’t comment, should you require a comment the best person to approach is the Minister on that one,” she said.
Ruzvidzo told NewsDay after the elections that the unity among the stakeholders was key to improved service delivery in the town.
“Unity is the way forward, service delivery is key. Within this short time frame I am going to make sure that the residents as well as the employees will see changes.”
Former Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere last year suspended 24 councillors including Chitungwiza mayor Phillip Mutoti out of the 25 in Chitungwiza on allegations of corruption and appointed a commission to run the town’s affairs.
Thirteen of the suspended councillors, including Ruzvidzo, resumed work on Monday after their recent exoneration by a three-member tribunal, headed by Virginia Mudimu.
Residents also filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court through the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZHLR) against Kasukuwere’s successor, July Moyo challenging the continued illegal stay of a three-member caretaker commission since August last year.