By Staff Reporter
Harare, April 26, 2016 – THE opposition People’s Democratic Party has strongly condemned Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni’s suspension by Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, insisting this was a sign Zanu PF was still determined to continue breaking the country’s laws in attempts to protect its rule.
Manyenyeni, a member of the MDC-T, was summarily suspended by Kasukuwere last week following his recent appointment of former banking executive James Mushore by city councillors as Town Clerk.
In taking the decision, Kasukuwere acted according to Section 114 (1) (d) (ii) of the Urban Councils Act which the opposition says has long been overtaken by provisions of the 2013 new Constitution.
The new Constitution provides for a tribunal which must be set in terms of an Act of Parliament to institute disciplinary procedures against a sitting mayor.
However, said PDP, Kasukuwere ignored that and went on to suspend Manyenyeni when a full complement of city councillors had endorsed Mushore’s appointment.
“It thus boggles the mind why Kasukuwere targeted councilor Manyenyeni only,” said PDP spokesperson Jacob Mafume in a statement, adding that the Zanu PF political commissar’s unilateral action was illegal.
“…What Kasukuwere has done is blatantly illegal, unconstitutional and a clear testimony that Zanu PF has no respect for the rule of law.
“Given such levels of brazen violation of the constitution from the highest office in broad daylight, the ordinary citizens are undoubtedly far from enjoying their rights.
“If the Zanu PF regime can go to such a gross extent just to suspend a mayor and in the process violate the constitution, the question in the minds of ordinary Zimbabweans is the extent to which they will violate the constitution and flout the rule of law to win an election.”
The Tendai Biti led opposition insisted Zanu PF was resisting reforms and further warned the international community not to be hoodwinked into believing the ruling party was on any path towards reform.
Currently, the IMF is studying Zimbabwe’s reform agenda with a view to extending fresh loans to the beleaguered country.
PDP said Kasukuwere’s actions have put paid to those doubts.
“Without adherence to the rule of law,” Mafume continued, “Zimbabwe cannot be said to be on an irrevocable path to reform.
“Thus the attempt by certain elements of the international community to paint a picture of a reforming Zanu PF which deserves support ahead of the crucial IMF Executive Board meeting on the 2nd of May 2016 is a fallacy which none other than Zanu PF itself has proved to be so.
“We reiterate our position again that reforms need reformers and Zanu PF has no reformers and more dangerously, Zanu PF has no appetite for reform.
“The regime is determined to continue on a path of illegality and will from time to time attempt to charm the world in search of a bailout from their current self inflicted financial woes.”