BY MOSES MATENGA
THE expulsion of MDC Alliance councillors by the Thokozani Khupe-led MDC-T has grounded local authorities, which are now failing to get the numbers at committee stages to agree on key decisions, it has emerged.
Khupe and her party have been on the rampage, recalling over 160 councillors countrywide and 32 legislators arguing that they have joined another party.
Cities such as Harare and Bulawayo have been particularly crippled by recalls at a time they are battling service delivery constraints.
It has since emerged that in Harare, committees are no longer efficient as they cannot form a quorum for meetings.
Harare has at least nine committees and as it stands 27 councillors are expected to serve instead of the usual 46 after the recalls.
The MDC-T recalled former mayor Herbert Gomba and 17 other councillors.
Gomba’s successor Jacob Mafume’s position is hanging by a thread amid plans to recall him or create “sufficient charges” for his arrest to pave the way for the election of Khupe’s choice.
Khupe could not recall Mafume because he was seconded to Town House by the People’s Democratic Party.
“We really are not pushing in the same direction because of the factional fights,” said a councillor, who requested to remain anonymous.
“Those aligned to Khupe feel they are the ones in charge and always threaten the MDC Alliance councillors.”
Harare City Council has been battling to replace chairpersons of committees after the axe fell on those who were appointed by Gomba and given the depleted numbers of councillors remaining, it has been difficult to have all committees functional.
MDC Alliance secretary for local government Sessel Zvidzai said the party’s “smart city” strategy as promised to the electorate had been put in flames because of the recalls.
“With what is happening, you are now realising there are others who don’t believe in participating, that is why they are focusing on recalling people,” Zvidzai said.
“They don’t believe in the democratic principles because they don’t follow the rules and as a result it will affect our capacity to give services to the people.
“The teams are no longer complete and if you look at Harare, we have about 24 members out of 46 and that kills capacity to deploy appropriately in critical committees.
“It means the committee work, which is the key work on policy formulation and delivery, it cannot happen because the committees are depleted.
“It is like playing with a team with seven people instead of 11, that is worrying.”
Harare is failing to provide potable water for millions in greater Harare while refuse has not been collected in several areas.
Roads are also in bad shape while the haggling continues.
Mafume said there was no need to fight along factional lines as service delivery knew no political affiliation.