Masvingo – In an act of ignorance and probably lack of knowledge and overzealousness, a member of the Central Intelligent Organisation (CIO) caused stir when she forced herself into a council's committee meeting, a development that resulted in some councillors threatening to boycott the Full Council Meeting last week.
Members of the public are usually allowed to attend Full Council Meetings and asked to leave when they turn into committees.
The female CIO operative (name withheld) from Masvingo district offices, however, would have none of it demanding to stay saying she has every right to attend any meeting in the country even in people's bedrooms.
Speaking to TellZim News soon after the meeting, councillors explained that committee meeting proceedings require members of the public to excuse themselves to allow city fathers and council management to debate issues they feel should not be 'blown out of proportion'.
Mayor Hubert Fidze confirmed the development and hastened to say committee meetings should be only between councilors and council management.
"We disagreed on whether the state security agent should or should not be present in a meeting which is deemed private. We could not reach any position to send her out but instead instructed the acting chamber secretary to find out who is supposed to be where and at what time during full council procedures. Very soon we will have a full account of who is allowed and who is not allowed to follow proceedings of committee proceedings," Fidze said.
Ward 4 councillor; Godfery Kurauona was not happy with the development saying council should not break their guidelines to serve interests of a few.
"Since I got into council, it has been a set guideline that committee does not allow non-council officio. The move to accept a state agent amused me and was forced to question what was special about her that made her stay.
"If some non-council members are allowed, why are journalists not allowed then? As she acted as the state's watchdog, journalists would have stood as the community's watchdog making their roles equally important. Council should just follow given guidelines and if broken, it should be equally done to accommodate all," Kurauone challenged.
"That was a very wrong move. As councilors, we could not just ignore something like that happening so we are yet to get clarification before the next full council meeting or else no one should be sent out when council turns into committee."
Ward 10 councillor, Lovemore Mufamba, however, supported the agent's stay saying there was nothing special committee discussed which the President's office would not get hold of.
"I wonder why people fight over such an easy issue. These guys can always get the information which you say you would have discussed in private so I do not see the reason for you sending them out when council turns to committees. It's the same case with journalists; we always see issues discussed privately in committees being published. What is needed rather is clarification on who should or should not be present in committee debates," Mufamba said.news