In a contentious and dramatic city council meeting, CCC (Citizens Coalition for Change) councillors have elected Mr. Lovejoy Chitengu, representing Ward 36, as the new Mayor of Harare. The election was marred by debates over Chitengu’s eligibility, following a recall notice with a misspelling in his surname.
The council chambers were reportedly on the verge of chaos, as members engaged in heated debates lasting nearly two hours. The question at the heart of the controversy was whether the anomaly in Chitengu’s recall letter, which omitted the letter ‘n’ in his surname, affected his eligibility for the mayoral post.
Despite the turmoil, the election proceeded, with Councillor Blessing Duma of the CCC acting as the interim chair of the special council meeting. Zanu PF councillors advocated for postponing the election, but were ultimately overruled.
Councillor Chitengu secured his position with a decisive 35 votes against Cllr Temany Utete’s seven, with three spoiled votes. Following the mayoral election, the deputy mayoral post was also contested, resulting in Cllr Rosemary Muronda’s victory with 38 votes over Cllr Susan Chuma, who received seven votes.
The election marks a significant moment in Harare’s local politics, reflecting the intense divisions and political dynamics within the city council. The CCC’s success in pushing through their candidate amidst opposition illustrates the shifting landscape of Harare’s political scene.
Newly-elected Mayor Chitengu, alongside Acting Chamber Secretary Mr. Warren Chiwawa, has since taken his oath of office, committing to navigate the challenges and expectations that lie ahead in his new role.