July Moyo Readies To Kick Out More Bulawayo Councillors
The much-anticipated report on the Government-stipulated investigation on the conduct of Bulawayo City Councillors is out, with indications that some councilors’ conduct was deemed inappropriate and therefore not fit to be in office.
The Government in July deployed a five-member team to investigate circumstances leading to the attempted suspension of Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube, by then-Deputy Mayor, Mr Tinashe Kambarami and a clique of councilors. Mr Kambarami has since ceased to be a councilor and deputy mayor after the High Court in Bulawayo last week nullified his election.
The five, comprising senior officials including directors in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, interviewed the town clerk, Mr Kambarami, the mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni and other council officials as part of their investigations.
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Deputy Minister, Jennifer Mhlanga told state media that the investigating team had delivered their final report to the Ministry.
“Yes, the team has completed their final report and have tabled it to the ministry, we will soon be presenting it to the local authority,” said Deputy Minister Mhlanga.
She, however, did not divulge details of the report adding, “when all the necessary procedures had been completed they will then also present it to the media.”
She said; “I promise you that you will also be given this report but as you would know there are some logistical issues that have to be completed before we make the findings public.”
However, sources who gleaned the report noted that it questioned whether some councillors were even aware of their mandate in the running of the city.
“In short it says some of the councillors are not fit for their positions. Recommendations were also made and it is up to the minister at the end to announce a way forward. Indications are that some councillors have to be suspended or fired paving way for by-elections,” said the State Media source.
It is Mr Kambarami, however, who is likely to have been at the centre of the investigations as he together with Ward Four councillor, Silas Chigora attempted to eject Mr Dube from office taking advantage of Clr Mguni’s absence with Mr Kambarami assuming the acting mayor role. It, however, later emerged that when Mr Kambarami was purporting to be acting mayor, he was not as Clr Mguni was actually not on leave. The suspension was eventually overturned by Clr Mguni.
Following the skirmishes some residents in the city called on July Moyo to appoint a commission to run operations in the city.
The councillors were said to be miffed especially by the town clerk’s refusal to let them interfere in the distribution of the $5 million ward retention fund as well as control the subcommittee on allocation of stands and premises.
Moyo also reacted by blasting Mr Kambarami and his clique of councillors saying their conduct was not that of city fathers.
The minister further warned councillors to stop meddling in employment, procurement and allocation of stands issues saying Government will come down hard on city fathers found to be interfering in such matters which are the prerogative of council officials.
“I have been told that there are councillors who are interfering with procurement. The Procurement Act that has been put in place is clear about who ought to be doing procurement just as ministers are not doing procurement, councillors are not supposed to be involving themselves in procurement issues. This is the work of council staff and even the staff in order to make sure that heads of department also do not end up doing things that are wrong, there are special committees that are set up in each council that are responsible for procurement,” Moyo said then.
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