HCC seeks finality in suspended town clerk's case

HARARE - The City of Harare has petitioned the High Court seeking an order for the dismissal of an application filed by suspended acting town clerk Josephine Ncube in which she was challenging her suspension.

The council is accusing her of failing to prosecute her case.

Ncube filed her application in May this year, challenging her suspension, and the City of Harare argued that she has not made an attempt to finalise the matter, despite having received a notice of opposition.

In his founding affidavit, the acting town clerk of the City of Harare, Hosiah Abraham Chisango said, Ncube’s application must be thrown out.

“On May 3 2018, the respondent ( Ncube) made an application seeking an order declaring her suspension from work null and void. The application was served on the applicant on 4 May 2018. The applicant opposed the application by filing a notice of opposition on 18 May 2018 and served it on the respondent on 21 May 2018,” he said.

The City of Harare told the court that after it had filed a notice of opposition, Ncube did not take steps to make sure the matter is brought to finality.

“Since 21 May 2018 when the respondent was served with the notice of opposition she had not taken any steps to ensure the finalisation or logical conclusion of the matter thus prompting this application.

“A period of three months has elapsed and the respondent has neither filed an answering affidavit, heads of argument nor set the matter down for hearing. She has not taken any steps whatsoever to finalise the matter. The respondent ought to have withdrawn the matter. This justifies an order dismissing her application for want of prosecution with costs,” Chisango said.

According to court papers, Ncube approached the court in May this year, claiming she was on sick leave when she received a letter of suspension and a notice to appear before a disciplinary committee on February 8 and 9,  2018.

In her affidavit, Ncube said the suspension was not in accordance with the provisions of Section 140 of the Urban Councils act.

“I submit that the City Council’s determination to proceed in disregard of the provisions of Section 140 of the Urban Councils Act is unlawful. Furthermore, the city council’s determination to proceed whilst I am on sick leave is unlawful,” she said.

She has, however, not yet responded to the city council’s application in which it is seeking the dismissal of her main application.

The matter is still to be finalised by the High Court.

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