The minister and the city council were headed for another showdown as this was not the first time Chombo had tried to impose special councillors drawn from his Zanu (PF) party on the city. The move by the minister was aimed a diluting the strength of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) dominated city council.
Last year the Bulawayo city council flatly rejected Chombo’s attempt to smuggle in losing Zanu (PF) councillors into council under the guise of special councillors.
The mayor of Bulawayo Councilor, Thaba Moyo told Radio VOP on Tuesday that the minister‘s latest move to impose Zanu (PF) activists to the people of Bulawayo would not be accepted.
“Let me state categorically that at Bulawayo city council we are guided by the Urban Council Act in whatever we do. The act clearly state that anybody appointed as a special councillor should be a specialist in a particular subject or field which elected councillors do not have,” said the mayor.
“A special councillor could be also someone who represents the interest of a section of disadvantaged members of the society such as the disabled and pensioners. That person should add value to the council and it is the onus of the minister to prove this when appointing these special councillors,” he added.
The mayor said when Chombo appointed Zanu (PF) activists as special councillors last year, he wrote to the minister requesting the profiles of the appointees but he said the minister never responded.
“Now the minister has indicated that he wants to appoint another eight people as Bulawayo special councillors .The council‘s position is still the same. We will not allow known activists of political parties to be appointed special councillors at the expense of genuine representatives of disadvantaged members of our society,” said the mayor.
Some of the people who lost the council elections under Zanu (PF) but were handpicked by Chombo are former Zanu (PF) ward councilor, Tadibana Tshuma, former Zanu (PF) councilors, Alderman David Ndlovu and Alderman Agrippa Nyathi.
Others are Denis Ncube, Zanu (PF) former mayor, Bulawayo Zanu (PF) secretary for Transport, Ernest Marima, and Tryphine Nhliziyo, Zanu (PF) loosing senator for Pumula.