Chombo targets MDC
HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party has accused local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo of attempting to destroy the party by dismissing elected councillors ahead of watershed polls to be held most likely next year.
This comes as the MDC says Chombo is moving to take over Harare and stuff it with Zanu PF loyalists.
Chombo has been crossing swords with the former opposition party since his Zanu PF party began losing control of urban and rural councils to the MDC.
MDC secretary for local government Sessel Zvidzai said Chombo had launched a crackdown on its members so that Zanu could regain what it lost during the 2008 elections.
“The minister is abusing the law for the benefit of his party,” said Zvidzai.
Chombo and Zvidzai work in the same ministry but hardly relate to each other due to political differences.
According to the MDC, Chombo has been abusing the Urban Council’s Act to dismiss MDC councillors and replacing them with Zanu PF cronies.
But Chombo yesterday denied the claims saying the MDC should prove the allegations.
He said that the reason why he dismissed MDC councillors deemed to be corrupt was because even their party leader Morgan Tsvangirai admitted that most councillors were corrupt.
“I am just working according to the words of my Prime Minister (Tsvangirai). I have to follow what he says (and) he has said it loud and clear that he does not tolerate corruption and so what do you expect me to do?” queried Chombo.
According to MDC officials, Chombo has now set his sights on dismissing Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda.
Chombo has openly criticised Masunda and his councillors for failing to run the city.
According to one councillor, Thomas Muzuwa, Chombo on Monday called a meeting with some councillors from Harare where he told them that Masunda had failed.
Chombo yesterday confirmed the meeting. He said it was meant to discuss how councillors and government could assist each other in tackling challenges bedevilling the capital.
The Electected Councillors Association of Zimbabwe (Ecaz) has also lambasted Chombo for trying to decimate MDC councils.
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