By Criswell Chisango
CHINHOYI- Majority of Chinhoyi councillors on Friday rejected advice from a senior Government official sent in to pacify growing divisions rocking Mashonaland West provincial capital situated about 115 kilometers out of Harare.
Eleven of fifteen councilors who are supporting a motion that Mayor Test Michael must step down after he mishandled the resignation of Town Clerk Muongororo.
Principal director Erica Jones in the ministry of Local Government and Urban Development was standing in for Minister Kasukuwere over the ‘’burning issues’’ causing divisions in the Zanu PF dominated council.
The city fathers could not take any word from her on Friday.
Sources said the issue raising tension was how Mayor Test Michaels ‘’mishandled’’ Mazai resignation on 4 June 2015 after he submitted the letter to him and copied to District and Provincial offices for records.
‘’The Mayor kept the resignation letter to himself and never notified the council. We heard it through grapevine and he confirmed that he got the letter but never made it public to us until recently when Mazai had a change of heart and re-applied to be reinstated. We were all shocked on how he can be reinstated on the post that he had not resigned from as far as are concerned. We were curios on why the Mayor acted that way and unprofessionally’’ said one source speaking on condition that he is not named for fear of victimisation.
However, it is said during the deliberations that a motion was raised for Mayor Michaels to step aside.
Deputy Mayor Derek Matapure confirmed that there is ‘’no good working relationship’’ and the incident is a tip of the iceberg.
‘’We have had differences and we hope we are moving forward to rectify the situation’’ said Matapure.
He however said the meeting with Jones had positive results.
‘’I am happy that the meeting was progressive and we are geared to return to normalcy within the council’’ added Matapure who denied that he is leading a faction against his former boss.
Sources added that Kasukuwere was notified and promised to come but later sent Jones to calm down the mounting divisions.
‘’We stood our ground that as policymakers we cannot be addressed by a Government official on policy matters and we told her to go back as we wait for Kasukuwere to come and address the issue that we believe must be handled carefully’’ added another source.
However, Mazai was said to be locked in series of meetings after Jones was sent packing by the councilors and could not return messages sent on his mobile phone.
Mayor Michaels did not answer calls on his mobile phone at the time of writing.
Another source added that Minister Kasukuwere may be coming soon to act on the matter.
‘’We understand Minister Kasukuwere may be coming this week to act on the matter following the fallout of councilors and director Jones on the matter’’ said a senior official speaking on condition that he is not named.
Kasukuwere could neither confirm nor deny if he will visit Chinhoyi town.
‘’I am sorry am in a meeting but it is my duty to meet councilors in every council anytime’’ said Kasukuwere.
Chinhoyi municipality has come under fire for poor service delivery, ballooned labor force that may be retrenched soon, corruption in the housing department where double allocation of stands that is rampant among other ills affecting most councils.