OPPOSITION MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai was last week forced to intervene and block a move by angry party councillors who wanted to kick out Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni accusing him of belittling them.
Manyenyeni was recently in the eye of a storm following reports that he insinuated that most of his fellow councillors were not educated enough and lacked the requisite educational qualifications to drive the capital city’s service delivery programmes.
MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu told NewsDay yesterday that Tsvangirai had to call the warring parties to order, as tempers flared at Town House.
“At the end of the day, as leader of the party, the buck stops with him and the president (Tsvangirai) had to intervene and say enough is enough. I can tell you now that the storm is over. It was nothing more than a storm in a tea cup,” Gutu said.
A source close to the developments said Tsvangirai read the riot act last Thursday after 12 of the 35 MDC-T councillors in Harare had signed a petition calling for Manyenyeni’s ouster.
The councillors also accused Manyenyeni of dining with rival Zanu PF members and attending State functions dominated by ruling party officials.
“Tsvangirai summoned the councillors to Harvest House (MDC-T headquarters) where he berated both Manyenyeni and councillors accusing them of seeking to embarrass the party. He did not mince his words telling Manyenyeni to behave like the ‘father figure’ he should as mayor and the councillors not to concentrate on petty issues,” said a party official who declined to be named.
The source said Tsvangirai, however, acknowledged the councillors’ educational shortcomings and ordered Manyenyeni to “come up with a programme of capacity building that will help those lacking”.
Contacted for comment, Manyenyeni confirmed that the feud had been resolved, but insisted he never insulted his colleagues.
“The mayor never said councillors are not educated. It was a wrong interpretation of what I said. The office of the mayor has over a dozen prescribed duties that one has to perform whether they like it or not,” Manyenyeni said.