Residents meeting exposes rift in ChiTown council

Source: Residents meeting exposes rift in ChiTown council – NewsDay Zimbabwe

Kiven Mutimbanyoka

A RIFT between Chitungwiza councillors and acting mayor Kiven Mutimbanyoka emerged yesterday at a stakeholders meeting in Unit L.

The meeting ended in chaos as some councillors and residents accused Mutimbanyoka of using the meeting as a grandstanding platform.

During the meeting, Zanu PF ward 4 councillor Reginald Mashingaidze brought in supporters sing: “Baba vedu tovadira kutaura chokwadi (We love our father for speaking the truth)” in support of Mutimbanyoka.

In his opening remarks at the meeting, Mutimbanyoka highlighted council’s achievements and the challenges it is facing.

He attributed the successes to his “astute” leadership, forcing one resident, Samson Gwatinyanya, to interject.

“What you are saying and what is on the ground is different. You only did one meeting with councillors. If that’s the case, how will council operate?” the resident asked.

Mutimbanyoka then said non-payment of rates by residents and water challenges were hamstringing council.

But Gwatinyanya shot back, saying most developments in Chitungwiza were actually spearheaded by former mayor Lovemore Maiko.

“Council is now being run by a one-man band. This meeting was not useful. It appeared as if Mutimbanyoka had just come to be introduced to residents. It had political motivation. Those who want to do politics should do that outside council,” Gwatinyanya said.

Mutimbanyoka responded: “This is some of the politicking that is affecting council. What has killed council is politics and corruption. We are seeing too much politics in meetings. The last full council meeting was held on June 22 and on July 29, there was a committee meeting.”

He boasted that council was in safe hands under his leaderships as his Zanu PF supporters cheered.

Citizens Coalition for Change chief whip Richard Chamutsa said Mutimbanyoka was not an executive mayor and could not make decisions for council. “If he makes decisions alone, that’s abuse,” he said.

Chitungwiza Residents Trust director Alice Kuvheya said the dormitory town would never develop given the negative attitude exhibited by the current councillors.

Mutimbanyoka later excused himself from the meeting saying he had other commitments and dodged questions from residents.