NEWLY-elected Gweru mayor Hamutendi Kombayi maintains it is business as usual at the city council saying he is ready to serve residents after he officially assumed duties.
Kombayi, who officiated at his first event as mayor at a graduation ceremony at Gweru Polytechnic last Friday, said there were pressing issues in the city that needed attention and people should not waste time on trivial matters to do with internal power struggles in the MDC-T.
Kombayi was not the MDC-T preferred candidate for mayor as the party wanted trade unionist Charles Chikozho to take the reins, but Gweru councillors defied this directive.
When Southern Eye caught up with Kombayi yesterday at his Midlands Hotel, he said there was no going back on his new job.
He dismissed recommendations by the MDC-T Midlands South executive to have him and nine other councillors expelled from the party for defying a directive to elect Chikozho as “mere political grandstanding” that will not help the city.
“I am on my way to attend to council business right now,” Kombayi said. “I am the new mayor and I don’t think it is right for people to waste time debating on who should have been mayor.
“The city has pressing needs that have to be addressed and that is what I am focusing on.”
Kombayi said he had no grudges against anyone in the party adding that “colleagues at council elected me” because they had confidence in him.
The MDC-T national executive is still to pass a decision on the Midlands South recommendations to have Kombayi, deputy mayor Artwell Matyorauta and eight other councillors fired from the party for defying an official directive.
Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo on Monday said the MDC-T cannot just fire councillors without following laid down procedure.
His permanent secretary Killian Mupingo said according to the Constitution, a tribunal must be first set up to determine cases of the expelled councillors before they could be relieved of their duties.
Chombo has in the past refused to sanction the expulsion of MDC-T councillors in Harare, Chitungwiza and Gweru even after they were fired from the party for alleged corruption.