Harare town clerk case spills into courts

HARARE - Harare and Chitungwiza residents have dragged Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere to the High Court, challenging his decision to rescind the city’s town clerk’s appointment within 24 hours of assuming office.

Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) and Chitungwiza Residents Association (CRA), who are the applicants cited Kasukuwere, the City of Harare and attorney general Prince Machaya as respondents.

According to an affidavit filed by Simbarashe Moyo, who is CHRA’s chairperson, through their lawyer Tonderai Bhatasara, the application is in terms of Section 85 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

The application comes after Kasukuwere rescinded the appointment of former NMBZ Holdings group chief executive officer James Mushore as Harare’s town clerk on March 24 this year.

In their application, the residents claim Kasukuwere’s decision was unconstitutional.

“The Constitution of Zimbabwe…provides for devolution of power and responsibilities to lower tiers of government in Zimbabwe under its Chapter 14,” Moyo argued.

He further argued that the purpose for the devolution of power is to give powers to local governance and enhance their participation in the exercise of the powers of the State and in making decisions affecting them, among other issues.

In the affidavit, Moyo said the minister’s decision to rescind the appointment violated Chapter 14 of the Constitution, adding that Harare City Council cannot continue running without a town clerk.

“Clearly the administrative action of the first respondent (Kasukuwere) is unlawful, unconstitutional and violates the rights of the applicants, its members and/or the public. In his letter first respondent does not say why it is in the interest of residents of Harare that he rescinds the decision to appoint the town clerk,” Moyo said.

CRA said it participated in the application because it gets its water from Harare.

“They have an interest in seeing the proper, efficient and transparent management of the affairs of 2nd respondent,” CRA director Marvellous Khumalo, said.

The residents now seek an order reversing Kasukuwere’s decision. They further demand the court to declare that, “…Sections 132, 133, 134 and 135 of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) are…unconstitutional and are struck down.”

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