Chi-Town councillors hauled before tribunal

HARARE - Suspended Chitungwiza councillors will soon appear before a tribunal appointed by Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere to determine their fate on corruption allegations.

In an interview with the Daily News, Kasukuwere said those found guilty will have to face the music.

In April this year, Kasukuwere suspended the entire Chitungwiza council and replaced it with a commission led by retired Civil Protection Unit director Madzudzo Pawadyira.

“Once a prima facie case has been proven, some of the councillors will have to answer to the tribunal and if pending my satisfaction others are exempt, their suspension will be lifted and will return to work. The tribunal will determine the fate of the councillors on whether they will be prosecuted or not,” Kasukuwere said.

He added that corruption in local authorities would not be tolerated and everyone found on the wrong side of the law will be answerable.

“We will arrest the corrupt. The arrest of councillors of Harare City Council is a result of our steadfast non-tolerance of corruption. We will not entertain the corrupt because they disturb service delivery at local authorities through their activities,” he said

The minister said with regard to the investigation team sent to Chiredzi, he was now in possession of the investigation report and would be making recommendations on the way forward.

Since his appointment in 2015, Kasukuwere has suspended several MDC-run councils and accusing the office bearers of corruption.

He first suspended Gweru mayor Hamutendi Kombayi and 10 other councillors. After a High Court judgment ordering Kombayi’s reinstatement. Kasukuwere defied the order and Kombayi is yet to resume office.

Bulawayo deputy mayor Gift Banda and four other councillors were also suspended by Kasukuwere in 2016 over alleged land corruption.

In January this year, Zvishavane town council chairperson Esau Dube was suspended by Kasukuwere for allegedly meddling in the smooth running of the local authority.

Four HCC councillors were last week arraigned before the Harare Magistrates’ Courts on charges of criminal abuse of public office involving a $32 million tender scam.

MDC shadow Local Government minister Eddie Cross has accused Kasukuwere of spending most of his time rescinding council decisions and suspending elected officials instead of addressing pertinent issues.

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