Chikomba District Development Coordinator Michael Mariga openly bragged that he was a Zanu PF member after he ejected CCC Ward 12 Councillor Ishmael Maukazuva from a meeting where the full council was creating its subcommittees.
After being jeered by Zanu PF councillors and refused an opportunity to read out the procedure of forming committees from the Rural and Urban Councils Act Maukazuva was ejected from the meeting.
Mariga bragged after making the ruling in favour of Zanu PF that he indeed belonged to the ruling party.
Mariga who chaired the meeting stopped Maukazuva from reading a section of the Urban Councils Act which showed that the procedure followed to set up committees was wrong.
“I am a member of Zanu PF, it’s not a secret. Zanu PF won the recent elections and went on to form the Government and this council has majority Zanu PF councilors, so they form the committes,” bragged Mariga after refusing a CCC councilor a chance to argue his case.
CCC is on record with complaints against Zanu PF’s conflation with Government. The utterances by Mariga are a brazen and contemptuous breach of the law which bars civil servants from active politics, said an angry CCC councilor as he left the meeting.
Mariga gained notoriety in the small transit town when he used his Government allocated vehicle to crash vendors’ tomatoes displayed for sale on the roadside. He later apologized. The act was condemned as showing no empathy to poor unemployed residents who look after their children by vending.
Mariga was also once dragged to court on allegations of demanding bribes from an NGO. He was later acquitted in a controversial ruling by Magistrate Sam Chitumwa, a local magistrate. It is however, not clear how the case ended with his employer after he was sent on three months suspension by the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works
During the meeting, Zanu PF councillors repeatedly made threats and insulted opposition councilors and Mariga did nothing to restrain them despite appeals for him to do so.
Zanu PF councilors jeered Maukazuva when he tried to read the Rural District Councils Act. Maukazuva was insisting that the committees were formulated illegally.
The outcome of the committees was endorsed and this means that the committees will stand for the next six months and only then would the case be reopened if there is still any objection.
Maukazuva said it’s a tragedy that the democracy at Chikomba is one where some councilors are not allowed to speak in chambers because of their political parties.
“It’s the death of democracy at Chikomba for the DDC to bar some councilors from speaking simply because they don’t belong to his party. How can a civil servant have the audacity to tell councilors that he belongs to a certain political party and he will act in the interest of that party?” said Maukazuva. Masvingo Mirror