Mudzuri resisted eviction


0

Former Harare mayor Elias Mudzuri’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said Mudzuri planned to surround himself with security guards and resist eviction from the mayor’s official residence after the High Court upheld his suspension.

Local Government Minister Ignatious Chombo withdrew most of the benefits the mayor enjoyed including his official residence, his official vehicle and any bodyguards.

Mtetwa said that if Mudzuri was evicted, she would go to court to have this action overturned.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 03HARARE1420, JUDGE UPHOLDS SUSPENSION OF HARARE MAYOR ELIAS

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

Classification

Origin

03HARARE1420

2003-07-11 10:00

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001420

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR J. FRAZER

LONDON FOR C. GURNEY

PARIS FOR C. NEARY

NAIROBI FOR T. PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2013

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINR ZI

SUBJECT: JUDGE UPHOLDS SUSPENSION OF HARARE MAYOR ELIAS

MUDZURI

 

REF: A. HARARE 1381

¶B. HARARE 863

 

Classified By: Political Officer Audu Besmer for reasons 1.5 b/d

 

Summary:

——–

 

¶1. (C) On July 10, High Court Justice Susan Mavangira upheld

Minister of Local Government Ignatius Chombo’s controversial

suspension of Harare MDC Mayor Elias Mudzuri for alleged

misconduct. In effect this ruling bars Mudzuri from going to

his office, and from carrying out the functions of mayor.

Minister Chombo has also called for the Mayor to be evicted

from his official residence. The Deputy Mayor, also an MDC

member, has taken over the functions of the Mayor and is

reportedly collaborating with the Minister. While the

situation looks bad for the MDC, with the good impression he

made at a recent conference of mayors in Denver and at the

Corporate Council on Africa meetings, (Ref B), the Mayor

could instead become an important emissary for the MDC

overseas. And the current Deputy Mayor’s term ends in

August, at which time the MDC council will elect a new person

who would presumably be more ready to accept MDC guidance.

End Summary.

 

Suspension Upheld

—————–

 

¶2. (SBU) On July 10, High Court Justice Susan Mavangira

upheld Minister of Local Government Ignatius Chombo’s

controversial suspension of Harare MDC Mayor Elias Mudzuri

for alleged misconduct. In effect this ruling bars Mudzuri

from going to his office, and from carrying out the functions

of Mayor. Mudzuri told the Ambassador that he has no

intention of defying the court order by going to his office.

 

Minister Calls for Mayor’s Eviction

———————————–

 

¶3. (C) On July 8, Chombo wrote a letter to the Acting Mayor,

Deputy Mayor Sekesayi Makwavarara, directing the withdrawal

of other benefits to the Mayor including eviction from the

official residence, withdrawal of the official vehicle, and

withdrawal of any bodyguards or aides. While Mavangira’s

order made no mention of these benefits, Chombo appeared on a

state television broadcast on July 10 saying that security

agents would go to the Mayor’s residence on July 11 to evict

him. The Mayor, his lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, and the MDC are

still deciding whether to appeal his suspension – they have

ten days in which to file – however, Mtetwa said the Mayor

planned to surround himself with security guards and resist

the eviction. If he is evicted, Mtetwa said they would

likely go to court to have this action overturned.

 

Investigation Stalled

———————

 

¶4. (C) After calling for the Mayor’s suspension in April

2003, Chombo appointed a group of six ZANU-PF insiders to

conduct the investigation into alleged misconduct. Although

the identities of the investigators has not been officially

announced, Mtetwa has learned who they are and has sent them

letters inquiring whether they have in fact been named, and

offering appointments with the Mayor, noting that no

investigator has yet sought to interview Mudzuri. Mtetwa

also learned that three of the would-be investigators have

said they do not want the duty.

 

Deputy Mayor Collaborating with Chombo

————————————–

 

¶5. (C) At lunch with the Ambassador on July 10, Mudzuri said

the Deputy Mayor Sekesai Makwavarara is collaborating with

Chombo – that effectively Chombo is running the city. In a

recent urban councils meeting with other mayors, Makwavarara

stated that everything was going well in her office. Mudzuri

also said a few other MDC councilors were collaborating in

exchange for payment. According to MDC presidential advisor

Gandi Mudzingwa, Mudzuri himself brought in Makwavarara after

his election, against the wishes of the council, but he and

Makwavarara subsequently had a falling out. The MDC

leadership met with Harare councilors on July 10 to build

solidarity with them, and to convey to Makwavarara that

regardless of personal differences with Mudzuri, she had an

obligation to stick with the principles of the party.

 

¶6. (C) Mudzingwa said the Deputy Mayor’s term ends in August

2003; at that time the council will elect a new Deputy

(Acting) Mayor.

Comment:

¶7. (C) What appears at first glance to be real setback for

Mayor Mudzuri and the MDC may not be as bad as it looks.

Although the Mayor may have essentially lost his job, he made

a good impression on other mayors at a recent conference in

Denver and at the Corporate Council on Africa meetings, (Ref

B), and he could be an important emissary for the MDC abroad.

Although the Deputy Mayor appears to be collaborating with

Minister Chombo, her term ends next month and presumably, the

38-strong MDC council will elect a different MDC

Deputy/Acting Mayor who would toe the MDC line. Chombo might

choose to dismiss that person as well, and perhaps the entire

MDC-dominated council, but such a radical step would be

controversial and have its own consequences. In the ongoing

saga, the Combined Harare Residents’ Association (CHRA), an

active advocacy organization, could be an important force in

checking Chombo’s de facto attempt to take back Harare for

ZANU-PF through non-elective means. End Comment.

SULLIVAN

 

(9 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHARETweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email
Print this page
Print

Like it? Share with your friends!

0
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.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *