Since the 2007 change to the Urban Councils Act Harare has had ceremonial Mayors whose powers are reliant on Council resolutions whilst individually limited to acting unilaterally.
This has brought much consternation with previous Mayors such as Bernard Manyenyeni lamenting their lack of power to change things.
Below we reproduce some sections which spell out the Mayor’s duties in Council.
According to the Urban Council’s Act the control and administration of every municipality shall vest in a mayor elected.
The term of office of a mayor shall be a period of four years: Provided that the mayor shall continue in office until the person elected as mayor at the next election of mayor assumes office.
Whenever the office of mayor is vacant or the mayor is absent from Zimbabwe or is unable to perform the functions of his office by reason of illness or any other cause, his functions shall be assumed and performed by the deputy mayor.
Functions of mayor
(1) The mayor shall be responsible for—(a) the supervision and co-ordination of the affairs of the council concerned and the development of the council area; and (b) through the town clerk, controlling the activities of the employees of the council concerned.
(2) In addition to the responsibilities referred to in subsection (1), a mayor of a municipality shall have the following functions—(a) presiding over all meetings of the council at which he is present; and
(b) presiding over all meetings of the council’s executive committee at which he is present; and
(c) presiding over all ceremonial functions of the council; and (d) signing orders, notices and documents that require execution or authentication by or on behalf of the council; and
(e) when necessary, causing investigations to be conducted into allegations of misconduct, whether on the part of councilors or employees of the council; and
(f ) with the approval of the council, fixing the conditions of service of employees of the council; and (g) exercising any function that the council may delegate to him in terms of subsection.
(3); and (h) exercising any other function that may be conferred or imposed upon him, whether in terms of this Act or any other enactment.
(5) A mayor may at any time remove from office the chairman of any committee of the council: Provided that any such removal shall be confirmed by a resolution passed by two thirds of the total membership of the council.
Whenever he considers it necessary in the interests of the inhabitants of the council area, the mayor may direct the town clerk to transfer funds from one account to another within the council budget, and such transfers shall be repayable to the appropriate fund on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed.