MDC-T has recalled Harare mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni for allegedly failing to implement party directives at the cash-strapped local authority.
Clr Manyenyeni will, however, continue as Ward 17 councillor. His deputy councillor Enock Mupamawonde has been appointed the new mayor. Sources close to the events said Clr Manyenyeni was recalled by Harare Province, which he clashed with several times during his tenure.
MDC-T Harare provincial chairperson and Highfield East legislator Mr Eric Murai confirmed that Clr Manyenyeni had been asked to step down from the mayoral office.
“Harare councillors wrote to us to the effect that they were not working well with mayor Manyenyeni and we only responded to their request. We did not exactly recall him, but he will continue to serve as councillor for his ward,” he said.
Clr Manyenyeni could not be reached for comment, but earlier he had told this reporter that he would be out of town for the whole of this week.
Ironically, Clr Manyenyeni, who also seem to have been fed up with the idea of having the local authority being remote-controlled from Harvest House, last year said he would not seek re-election at the end of his current term, which is left with only a few months.
Clr Manyenyeni said at the time, being not directly involved in the 2018 elections would give him the freedom to maintain his focus on business.
He said the problems bedevilling Harare required a “doer-mayor” not a chairman of the board.
“There is enough pressure to sustain attacks on things that are wrong. I do have enough energy for this. Not being personally involved in the 2018 elections gives me freedom to maintain focus where I am not tethered,” he said.
“My call to be succeeded by an executive mayor must get louder. This is not about me. I will be out. I am very encouraged by the quality of aspiring mayors for our city. From the four names that I am aware of, Harare will have a good mayor come 2018.”
This is not the first time the mayor clashed with Harare Province, last year the two parties clashed over the his intentions to cut the city’s salaries following a salary benchmarking exercise.
Clr Manyenyeni was elected mayor in 2013 after garnering 38 of the 45 votes cast. zanu-pf candidate Beadle Musatye Gwasira got the remaining seven votes.
MDC-T has run Harare City Council for sometime, but has failed to improve service delivery to residents despite promising a world class city by 2025.