Local Government Minister July Moyo has pulled rank and imposed Greendale councillor Stewart Musarurwa Mutizwa as acting Harare mayor.
This follows the failure by sitting councillors in a heavily depleted Harare chamber to constitute a quorum to elect a mayor of their choice.
Moyo took it upon himself to appoint Mutizwa to the helm of the country’s largest local authority.
In a letter dated 29 September, Moyo said, “I have taken note of the contents of the letter dated 24 September 2021 in which a certificate of the declaration of a vacancy in the office of the Mayor City of Harare was issued by the Acting Town Clerk.
“The post has been vacant since 14 September 2021 and the Council has failed or neglected to appoint an Acting mayor in terms of section 104 of the Urban Council Act (Chapter 29:15).
“In terms of section 104 (2) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15), I hereby appoint SM Mutizwa Ward 9 Greendale Councillor as the acting mayor for City of Harare with immediate effect.”
Mutizwa’s appointment follows the suspension of Jacob Mafume, an ally to Nelson Chamisa of MDC Alliance, who is being accused of abuse of office.
Mutizwa is aligned to Douglas Mwonzora’s MDC-T, the opposition faction that is seen as enjoying State favours at the expense of the rival MDC Alliance.