MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu described the development as a vengeful move against its councillors by Kasukuwere on erroneous suspicions that they had supported the provision of transport to people who toyi-toyed against the beleaguered Zanu PF national political commissar in Bindura a fortnight ago, pushing for his ouster from the warring former liberation movement.
This comes as Kasukuwere fired the entire cast of Chitungwiza councillors and its mayor, Phillip Mutoti, on Thursday on charges of corruptly allocating themselves $7 million worth of land.
Kasukuwere has since replaced them with a commission.
A livid Gutu accused him of working to settle personal scores, as some within the Chitungwiza Municipality hierarchy had allegedly approved the use of cars belonging to the local authority by scores of irate Zanu PF who participated in the Bindura demonstration.
One of the bureaucrats at the Chitungwiza Municipality is said to be a high-ranking Zanu PF official who apparently also sits in the Mashonaland Central provincial coordination committee (PCC).
“Minister of Local Government Saviour Kasukuwere must immediately stop behaving like a bull in a china shop.
“Kasukuwere’s malicious and unlawful action of suspending all the Chitungwiza town councillors is actually motivated by a wicked and malevolent political agenda.
“He is a man who is facing serious political problems of his own within his faction-ridden and collapsing Zanu PF party.
“He is trying to divert attention from this and is creating confusion by decimating urban authorities that are under the control of the MDC.
“The real reason why Kasukuwere has unlawfully suspended the councillors is not because there is any concrete evidence of corruption against them, but because he is seeking to advance his own personal interests by victimising certain individuals within the Chitungwiza Municipality administration, which individuals he suspects are responsible for ganging up against him as he faces his political Waterloo within the deeply corrupt and politically decadent Zanu PF Mafia organisation.
“Much as we appreciate that Kasukuwere is a notorious political thug, the MDC will not allow him to ride rough shod over the clear and unambiguous provisions of the law that administers the affairs of urban local authorities.
“As such, we will definitely challenge this unlawful suspension in the courts,” the angry Gutu railed, adding that the MDC had a zero tolerance policy towards corruption.
“Kasukuwere has blatantly violated the law by putting the cart before the horse, by purporting to suspend all Chitungwiza Town councillors before due process has been undertaken.
“We are aware that the ultimate intention of the evil and insipidly corrupt Zanu PF regime is to totally decimate all the urban authorities that are under the control of the MDC as we approach the 2018 elections,” he added.
Two weeks ago, angry Zanu PF supporters besieged Bindura where they demonstrated against Kasukuwere and his brother Dickson Mafios.
Vehicles from the Chitungwiza Town Council were apparently spotted at the demo, leading to suspicion that one of the executives at the local authority had used them to mobilise against Kasukuwere, who is sweating over his future in Zanu PF, after the party’s 10 provinces passed votes of no confidence in him over a slew of untested allegations which include creating parallel structures and planning to topple President Robert Mugabe.
Kasukuwere and Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo, who is also facing censure from his home province of Matabeleland North, are two of the alleged kingpins of the Generation 40 (G40) faction which is rabidly opposed to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe.
Yesterday, Chitungwiza residents also slammed Kasukuwere for firing the local authority’s administrators, accusing the minister of destabilising MDC-run councils for political mileage.
“It has become a trend that when a commission is appointed to run affairs in Chitungwiza they drain the revenue that is collected, which in turn affects the quality of social service delivery.
“The accumulated debt that the city has, and the delayed pay dates for workers is one such problem.
“We have had five commissions in Chitungwiza and each of them has had a mandate of fixing one thing or another.
“However, all they did was make the situation worse for the town. Some of the problems Chitungwiza has today can be attributed to those commissions.
“Residents need to be represented by people they elected because they will be accountable to them.
“However, commissions are political appointees who do not care about what the people want. Their allegiance lies only with the person or people who appointed them and that is a huge problem for Chitungwiza,” Chitungwiza Residence Trust director Marvellous Kumalo said.
Combined Harare Residents Association (Chra) chief executive officer Mfundo Mlilo also accused Kasukuwere of trying to decimate MDC-run councils.
“We have in the past warned opposition-run local authorities that as voter registration begins, Zanu PF will sweep in and try to destabilise them by clamping down on all their officials.
“There is a definite fear that commissions will be set and this is because local authorities are Zanu PF’s cash cow as they collect revenue daily.
“They intend to use these commission-led councils to make it easy for them to access revenue to fund their campaigns in the run-up to the 2018 elections,” said Mlilo.
Since his appointment in 2015, Kasukuwere has had many run-ins with MDC-dominated councils, resulting in several suspensions and the firing of councillors.
In 2015, Kasukuwere suspended Gweru mayor Hamutendi Kombayi and 10 other councillors on corruption allegations and replaced them with a commission.
Last year ,he suspended Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni twice over the appointment of top banker James Mushore as the city’s town clerk.
Mushore remains suspended although he is entitled to a salary which Manyenyeni recently said had ballooned to $125 400 as at the beginning of this month.
Kasukuwere has also wielded the axe in Bulawayo and Zvishavane, further raising the ire of the MDC.
“The regime is in panic mode. They know that the people are angry and that Zanu PF is heading for a humiliating electoral defeat next year.
“The plan, therefore, is for the regime to cause maximum damage to the MDC by creating havoc, confusion and mayhem through the malicious and unlawful suspension and dismissal of our councillors countrywide.
“The MDC is a people’s project and no amount of Stalinist and fascist machinations shall stop us from winning the 2018 plebiscite.
“The people of Zimbabwe are sick and tired of Zanu PF’s false promises, rampant corruption and general dereliction of governmental responsibility,” Gutu told the Daily News.