Chombo fires Mutare mayor


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Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo on 22 July fired Mutare mayor Misheck Kagurabadza for allegedly misusing public funds, but the mayor said he had been fired for showing United Nations special envoy Anna Tibaijuka the living conditions of people in Sakubva after Operation Murambatsvina which had displaced thousands of people.

Kagurabadza was accused of borrowing funds to buy two garbage vehicles and a Mercedes Benz for himself without authority from the ministry.

The mayor said the council did purchase four garbage vehicles, three ambulances, and five trucks for use by council members in carrying out their duties but that they did so under a lease to buy agreement and did not require the authority of the Ministry to do so.

 

 Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 05HARARE1038, GOZ CONTINUES ATTACK ON MUNICIPALITIES

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

05HARARE1038

2005-07-29 08:34

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

290834Z Jul 05

 

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   CIAE-00 INL-00   DODE-00 DS-00

EAP-00   EUR-00   VC-00   H-00   TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00

VCE-00   NRC-00   NSAE-00 OES-00   OIC-00   PA-00   GIWI-00

FMPC-00 SP-00   SSO-00   SS-00   SCRS-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00

DRL-00   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00   SWCI-00   /000W

——————1DAAB1 290926Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8672

INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

AMEMBASSY ACCRA

AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA

AMEMBASSY DAKAR

AMEMBASSY KAMPALA

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

AMEMBASSY PARIS

AMEMBASSY ROME

NSC WASHDC

USEU BRUSSELS

USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 001038

 

SIPDIS

 

 

AF/S FOR B. NEULING

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2010

TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: GOZ CONTINUES ATTACK ON MUNICIPALITIES

 

REF: A. HARARE 944

 

B. 2004 HARARE 2035

C. 2004 HARARE 682

 

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Eric T. Schultz under Section 1

.4 b/d

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. (C) The GOZ suspended the MDC mayor of Mutare on July 22,

ostensibly for misusing public funds. However, the mayor

told us July 28 that showing the UN Special Envoy the areas

of Mutare affected by Operation Restore Order was the real

reason for his suspension. Meanwhile, the GOZ ordered

restored to his position a town clerk dismissed for

embezzlement by the MDC-led council of Chitungwiza.

Chitungwiza,s mayor told us he expected to hear news of his

own suspension in the near future. End Summary.

 

———————-

Mutare Mayor Suspended

———————-

 

2. (C) The GOZ announced the suspension of MDC Mayor of

Mutare M.T. Kagurabadza at a national conference for chiefs

on July 22. According to the July 27 edition of

government-sponsored Herald newspaper, Local Government

Minister Ignatius Chombo suspended Kagurabadza and other top

officials on the MDC-dominated Mutare council for misusing

public funds. The Herald article quoted Local Government

Deputy Secretary Jacob Chikuruwo that Kagurabadza had

borrowed funds to purchase two garbage vehicles and a

Mercedes Benz for himself without authority from the Ministry

to seek the loans.

 

3. (C) On July 28, Kagurabadza told poloff the real reason

for his suspension was for showing UN Special Envoy Anna

Tibaijuka the living conditions in the high-density suburb of

Sakubva, where tens of thousands were displaced after the

GOZ,s Operation Restore Order (ref A), before the GOZ could

clear the area out. Kagurabadza said the council did

purchase four garbage vehicles, three ambulances, and five

trucks for use by council members in carrying out their

duties but that they did so under a lease to buy agreement

and did not require the authority of the Ministry to do so.

He said that Mutare had had no garbage trucks or ambulances

at all before the MDC-dominated council took office.

 

4. (C) On July 26, the Herald reported a demonstration of

about 100 residents of Mutare calling on the Government to

fire the entire council. Kagurabadza said the demonstrators

were not residents of Mutare but rather people brought in by

the Government specifically for the purpose of demonstrating

against the council. The residents of Mutare did not oppose

him or the council because they knew what their elected

officials had done for the city.

 

————————-

Chitungwiza Mayor at Risk

————————-

 

5. (C) On July 25, the Daily Mirror newspaper reported that

Chombo had reinstated Chitungwiza town clerk Simbarashe

Mudunge, whom the MDC-led Chitungwiza council had suspended

for misuse of funds intended for a sewer project. Chombo

declared the allegations baseless and said the council had no

authority to suspend Mudunge. MDC mayor of Chitungwiza

Misheck Shoko told the Embassy,s cultural officer on July 25

that he expected to hear news of his own suspension or firing

any day for daring to suspend a town clerk favored by Chombo.

Shoko seemed resigned to the probability of his impending

removal from office and expressed no confidence in the legal

system as a means of fighting it.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

6. (C) These actions by the Ministry of Local Government

continue a pattern of GOZ interference with MDC-led municipal

governments, the most notable of which was the firing of the

MDC mayor of Harare, Elias Mudzuri, and several of the MDC

council members and appointment of a commission to run Harare

in 2004 (ref B). The ruling party has had it in for

Kagurabadza for some time; it engineered a lengthy siege of

his office last year in an attempt to drive him from office

(ref C). It has also staged disruptive demonstrations

against and tried to bribe other MDC mayors. The GOZ has

also denied fair pay to many MDC mayors (capping the Kariba

mayor’s pay at less than US$100 month, for example) and

systematically denied sustainable municipal rate structures

in most MDC-controlled cities. The municipal level has been

the one level where the MDC has been effective in getting

leaders elected and the Government has missed no opportunity

to thwart the effectiveness of the opposition,s elected

officials.

SCHULTZ

 

 

NNNN

 

(45 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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