Zimbabwe: MDC Mayor Bootlicks Mnangagwa

President Emmerson Mnangagwa (file photo).
22 September 2021

WHILE the MDC Alliance is blaming Zanu PF for using Local government minister July Moyo to interfere into the operations of the councils under its ambit, MDC T mayor for Mutare Blessing Tandi, last week, surprised delegates when extolled President Emmerson Mnangagwa's virtues, crediting him for working hard to restore the confidence in the economy.

Tandi crossed floor to Mwonzora led MDC-T after he was threatened with a recall in March last year by MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora.

He was later saved by Local government minister July Moyo after he apologised for being associated with MDC Alliance members, according to MDC sources.

While addressing delegates who attended the inaugural State of THE City Address at Mutare Hall on Tuesday, Tandi said his administration appreciates role being played by President Mnangagwa with his cabinet to restore confidence in the economy.

"At the national level, we would like to appreciate the role played by our President H.E Emmerson Mnangagwa, and his team of men and women who are working to restore confidence in the economy," said Tandi.

The mayor went further to applause the Second Republic for the ongoing disbursement of the devolution funds, saying they have helped the cash strapped local authority to roll out several developmental projects that are improving service delivery in the city.

"We want to appreciate the extended olive branch which came in the form of devolution grants that have assisted us to roll our developmental projects. We received some funds for the renovation of Mutare Infectious Hospital courtesy of devolution funds and work has not been completed," said Tandi.

He said the local authority has since aligned its operation in line with government's stance of promoting the ease of doing business in order to attract more investment into the eastern border city.

"In line with the Second Republic mantra, Zimbabwe is Open for Business, the city of Mutare is Open for Business, the City of Mutare started to adopt the ease of doing business reforms in 2018.Major achievements include the reduced timeframe in approval of licences,"said Tandi.

On the contrary, while speaking during a Mutare Constituency Indaba on Auditor General's 2019 Audit report which was convened by The Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) recently, Tandi dismissed the country's devolution process saying it was more of decentralization as provinces were not given autonomy to run their affairs as citizens expected.

He said citizens should fully understand terms by which devolution in the country is being implemented.

"To me it is more of decentralization than devolution of power. As we speak no local authority has devolved. Devolution may not come in as we think that probably there will be more powers to the provincial government or local authorities," said Tandi.

A local resident James Marukutira of Sakubva said it was surprising for an opposition figure to sell the manifesto of a ruling party.

"You can't it be an opposition leader when you sell to the electorate a blue print of your rival. MDC-T has proved beyond doubt that it's an extension of Mnangagwa admistration by supporting his policies," said Marukutira.

Stan Bwawo of Doradombo who attended the meeting said MDC-T has failed to come up with its own clear policies to steer the council out of the current mess.

"As a party they should have their own blueprint which they should implement not to hero worship a leader of another party. They are desperate to remain office. They don't have mandate from the people," said Bwawo.

MDC Alliance spokesperson for Manicaland province David Panganayi said Tandi was singing for his supper after Local government minister July Moyo stopped his imminent recall by their party leader Mwonzora.

"He is singing for his supper. It's now pay back time after July Moyo stopped his imminent recall by Mwonzora who was not sure of his allegiance. He is their point person in council. Let him enjoy the fruits of selling out," he said.

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