(Last Updated on October 12, 2022 by ZIMDAILY EDITOR)
By Tsitsi P Mashiri
CHITUNGWIZA – Local Government minister July Moyo has suspended six Chitungwiza councillors on allegations of illegally re-electing CCC councillor Lovemore Maiko as mayor.
The councillors suspended by Moyo yesterday are Lovemore Maiko of ward 7, Kuda Johns ward 21, Nyagondo ward 14, Richard Chamutsa ward 5, Musa Makweza ward 19 and Matiringe ward 10.
Zanu PF ward 13 councillor Kiven Matimbanyoka said he was the legitimate acting mayor for the town pending the court case challenging his appointment.
“My appointment by Minister (of Local Government and Public Works July Moyo) was legal and guided by the Urban Councils Act.
“Council had failed to hold an election to elect another mayor within 30 days after Maiko was recalled.
“The CCC councillors have been blocking me from chairing council meetings and it was affecting council business,” Mutimbanyoka said.
According to Moyo’s suspension letter to Maiko the councillors had violated the Urban Councils Act Chapter (29:15).
“You participated in the elections of the mayor despite having been advised during the ordinary official meeting that the issue of the election of a substantive mayor was pending before the High Court.
“You wilfully disobeyed the law by accepting the position of the Mayor when you were fully aware that there is an Acting Mayor and the procedure as outlined in the Urban Councils Act has not been followed.”
The minister said the above allegations gave him reasonable grounds to suspect that the councillors were guilty of gross misconduct, gross incompetence, wilful violation of the law.
“During the period of your suspension, you shall not conduct any business for or on behalf of council within or outside council premises.”
According to a recent media report, Mutimbanyoka downplayed the appointment of Maiko saying it was illegal, as he had adjourned the meeting along with acting town clerk Evangelista Machona.