Harare City Council battling a leadership crisis following the arrest, recall and suspension of successive mayors and the present deputy mayor yesterday appointed Ward 9 Councillor Stewart Mutizwa as the acting mayor.
Clr Mutizwa was appointed unanimously during a special council meeting held at Town House.
He replaces Jacob Mafume who is in remand prison at the moment and who was suspended with his deputy Luckson Mukunguma and four other councillors by Local Government and Public Works Minister pending the outcome of their criminal trials on corruption-related charges.
Without a mayor or deputy mayor able to exercise the office of mayor, the council had to appoint a councillor to act in this position.
Clr Ian Makone proposed that Clr Mutizwa becomes the acting mayor until such a time the situation normalises. The decision was then seconded by Clr Tendai Matafi.
In his acceptance speech yesterday, Clr Mutizwa thanked fellow councillors for the honour, respect and trust bestowed on him.
“I am here to serve l am not going to break any rules. We want to steer the ship so that it starts moving and it is my prayer for us to unite for one selfish reason that of serving our residents.
“I am one such person who would not indicate right and turn left. Let us all join hands and make sure we bring back the sanity to our city,” he said.
Clr Mutizwa said going forward there should be harmony in the city.
“We want service delivery in the city and it can only be delivered through our collective efforts. Let us join hands, officials included we all are here to serve the council and our residents,” he said.
It has all been chaos at the opposition led local authority as Mafume took reigns for about a month only after replacing Herbert Gomba who had been arrested over land scams and then recalled during the MDC infighting fights when the MDC-T recalled its councillors who had won elections as members of the MDC-Alliance.
Mafume is remanded in custody up until next year after he was denied bail on his second set of charges, which relate to allegations that he tried to interfere with a witness in his first case, for which he had been granted bail.