By Staff Reporter
The Harare City Council (HCC) on Thursday elected ward 35 councilors for Mufakose Enock Mupamawonde as the new deputy mayor following the resignation of Councillor Christopher Mbanga a week ago.
Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni who presided over the elections first announced to the city fathers that he had received a letter from Councillor Christopher Mbanga tendering his resignation from the deputy mayoral position.
Mayor Manyenyeni did not divulge anything concerning the untimely resignation of Mbanga who assumed office in 2015 after the death of former Deputy Mayor Thomas Muzuva who succumbed to cancer.
A source close to the MDC-T party revealed that Mbanga who was allegedly handpicked to fill the deputy mayoral position was under pressure from the top leadership to resign or face the chop for siding with Zanu-PF local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
Mbanga will remain councillor for the MDC-T.
The MDC-T councilors nominated Councillor Enock Mupamawonde as their candidate while Zanu-PF councillor had selected Samuel Chinyowa. Mupamawonde garnered 23 votes against rival Chinyowa who only scored 5 votes.
Zanu-PF councilors could be heard shouting the elections were ‘nikuved’ saying how come the winning candidate had a prepared speech but mayor Manyenyeni responded, “I’m also hearing that even the losing candidate had a ready speech”.
MDC-T has the majority councilors at Town House and only one independent candidate councilor Peter Manjoro.
Councillor Wellington Chikombo who chairs the human resources committee was in no show; previously he was quoted as having ambitions for the deputy mayoral position when Mbanga was elevated.
Mupamawonde is not a popular someone at Town House though chairing the prestigious audit committee.
In a side interview with the winning candidate (Mupamawonde) said he was humbled.
“Servant leadership, I will be listening and listening to the extent that whatever could have been shared from various key stakeholders of the City of Harare who are so concerned with various issues which are affecting the city, then those are the input to the advice and decision making processes in council together with the rest of councillors and the mayor” Mupamawonde pledged.
The full council meeting ended prematurely after load shedding switched off council chambers into darkness. Manyenyeni sent the house into adjournment citing that their generator was down.