The political landscape of Harare was thrown into disarray as the Mayor, Ian Makone, his deputy Kudzai Kadzombe, and seven other city councillors were abruptly recalled from their positions by a faction within the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC). The instigator of these recalls, Sengezo Tshabangu, self-proclaimed as the “Interim Secretary General” of CCC, has cited the party’s lack of a formal constitution and established leadership structure as justification for his actions.
The full list of the recalled councillors is as follows:
Ian Makone – Ward 18 (Mayor)
Kudzai Kadzombe – Ward 41 (Deputy Mayor)
Denford Ngadziore – Ward 16
Loveloy Muteo – Ward 36
Ian Mutteto Makone – Ward 18
Samuel Gwenzi – Ward 5
Chido Hamuswa – PR Council
Tiriboyi Sabina – PR Council
Florence Cheza – PR Council
Matimba Fadzai – PR Council
This controversial move has triggered an uproar within the CCC, and it is feared that it may inadvertently benefit the ruling ZANU-PF party by leading to by-elections in these wards. These developments have sparked concerns about the potential financial burden of conducting new elections during a period of severe economic strain for the city.
The timing is especially problematic given Harare’s struggle with critical issues such as failing healthcare facilities and a crisis in the availability of potable water. Critics argue that the resources earmarked for possible by-elections should instead be directed toward these urgent public services.
Advocates for the recalled councillors have voiced their outrage, emphasizing the need for cohesion and principled leadership within the CCC. They highlight the urgency for the opposition party to solidify its constitutional framework to avert similar disruptions in the future.
The episode is a significant test for the CCC’s internal governance and has sparked broader debates about the vulnerability of opposition parties in Zimbabwe to internal conflict. As the repercussions of this unexpected political twist unfold, the citizens of Harare await clear answers and a path forward amidst the political uncertainty.
The response from the CCC’s central leadership is highly anticipated as both party members and Harare residents look for clarification and reassurance about the stability and future of their city’s governance.