The clash over who should officiate, observers said, was a manifestation of a simmering power struggle in the MDC-T dominated council where some councillors are accused of plotting to oust Mr Nyamhondoro whom they accuse of being arrogant.

VP Mujuru was the guest of honour at the official opening of the Agricultural Show on Saturday where Deputy Mayor Mr Wheels Nyambe was introduced as the official representing council.

The mayor was said to be out of town attending to other business. However, Mr Nyamhondoro later arrived and immediately sought to assume official duties, attracting resistance from Mr Nyambe who said the mayor had asked him to represent council in his absence.

Investigations by The Herald established that the mayor was invited to attend Mr Muchadeyi Masunda’s installation as Harare mayor and agreed to go. He then asked his deputy to represent the Chinhoyi municipality at the installation of the mayor of Bindura while he came to Harare.

Effectively this means neither the mayor nor his deputy would have attended VP Mujuru’s opening of the show in Chinhoyi.

Contacted for comment Mr Nyamhondoro said he came from Harare on Saturday morning after attending Mr Masunda’s installation on Friday.

"I went to the show knowing that I had asked my deputy to go to the Bindura inauguration after getting an invitation in Harare and calling him on Friday telling him to go together with the chamber secretary," he said.

However, he said he was surprised to find Mr Nyambe at the show and immediately sought clarification leading to the tussle over who should represent council.

Mr Nyambe, however, said the mayor had told him not to go to Bindura anymore because he was in Harare and he could combine the two trips.

"If he knew that he was gone to officiate at the show why did he come late and why didn’t he come to receive the guests on behalf of council?" he asked.

Mashonaland West provincial administrator Mr Christopher Shumba had to intervene to calm the situation that was threatening to get out of hand, especially in front of VP Mujuru.

Both men tried to get their hands on the speech and organisers were forced to give in to the mayor in the end.

The two have since been invited to a meeting at the PA’s office in a bid to resolve their differences.

"They are expected to come to my offices so that we try to understand the issues and map the way forward because what happened at the show was embarrassing to the town and to the province when we hosted the Vice President," he said.

It is understood that the differences stem from the fact that Mr Nyambe was once strongly tipped to land the post of mayor but failed to meet the set down criteria after it was found he did not have the necessary O-Level qualifications.

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