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All Politics Are Local - Especially In Zimbabwe Capital City Of Harare


Something like a truce has been declared between Harare Commission Chairwoman Sekesai Makwavarara and her critics among senior officials of the ruling ZANU-PF party in Harare Province, following her reappointment to the post.

Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo last week named several new members of Makwavarara's commission, following renewal of her six-month term in December. She was first appointed in 2004, when the government removed Elias Mudzuri, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change politician serving as mayor.

Though the commission was imposed by Harare, ruling party officials in the province have not been not happy with Makwavarara’s job performance and sought to oust her and her team, accusing them of failing to deliver essential services.

But following Makwavarara’s reappointment, ruling party critics say she has made some progress and are running up the white flag of truce.

Spokesman William Nhara of the ZANU-PF's Harare organization, who has offered some sharp criticism of Makwavara, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the provincial party apparatus trusts Chombo’s judgment.

Makwavarara could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, Chombo is fighting another battle with the Local Government Board over who should be Harare’s next town clerk. Sources say Chombo is backing former Air Zimbabwe chief executive Tendayi Mahachi, while the majority of Local Gvernment Board members want to see Kariba town clerk George Makunde hired.

Local political sources say board chairman Joseph Mandizha, seen as a Chombo ally, has blocked an announcement of Makunde’s hiring.

The job opened up in June when the commission and Local Government Board fired town clerk Nomutsa Chideya, citing incompetence. He is contesting the dismissal.

Combined Harare Residents Association spokesman Precious Shumba said the entire procedure is a sham that reveals the level of ministerial meddling in city affairs.

More Reports From VOA's Studio Seven For Zimbabwe...

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