Blow for double dipping officials

HARARE - In a landmark ruling that will affect many politicians, the Supreme Court has ruled that Joshua Muzamba cannot double as Binga Rural District Council (Binga RDC) chief executive officer and Zanu PF central committee member.

The Supreme Court recently ruled that Muzamba must either resign as a Zanu PF central committee member or quit being Binga RDC’s chief executive officer as he cannot occupy both positions at the same time.

He was given three months to decide which position to drop.

Binga North MDC legislator Prince Dubeko Sibanda has hailed the Supreme Court ruling.

The Supreme Court also nullified Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese’s earlier decision to dismiss a November 2016 application by Sibanda who wanted Muzamba to relinquish his council position on grounds that he was a Zanu PF central committee member, hence breaching the Constitution.

After losing the case, Sibanda represented by his lawyers, Phulu and Ncube appealed to the Supreme Court where Justice Anne-Mary Gowora, sitting with Justices Ben Hlatshwayo and Lavender Makoni set aside Justice Makonese’s judgment.

“The first respondent (Muzamba) is granted an option to either relinquish his position as a member of the Zanu PF Central Committee or in the alternative to resign from his position as Binga RDC’s chief executive officer within three months of the date of this order,” ruled the judge.

Sibanda hailed the court ruling describing it as a milestone achievement.

“I am excited with the outcome of my appeal to the Supreme court. I am vindicated by the judgment because some people thought I had personal issues against Joshua when it’s not so.

“I decided to take him to court after I realised that he had become a liability to the community as he pursued his personal and political interests at the expense of service delivery,” Sibanda said.

He, however, said the ruling had set a precedent for public office bearers.

“The Supreme Court ruling also means that all those Zanu PF political activists masquerading as public officers in different government and quasi government departments have to vacate the public offices without delay so that delivery of public services remain in the hands of non-partisan officers,” he said.

“And there are many such officers in different departments including some that participated in party primary elections to represent those parties in different political positions.”

The Binga North legislator further noted that there was need to quarantine public services delivery of politicians and political actors so that we reduce the conflation of State departments with political parties.

He added Muzamba was not the only pubic office bearer who was double dipping as there were many others.

“There are others who also need to go. In Binga I had an opportunity to meet such other conflicted individuals last week and warned them that in the next five years, I will not tolerate their compromised way of doing duty that I witnessed in the last five years.”

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