Zimbabwe’s Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere has fired Gweru mayor, Hamutendi Kombayi, and reinstated 10 other opposition MDC-T and three Zanu PF councillors, who had been suspended on allegations of gross misconduct, maladministration and abuse of public funds.
Kasukuwere yesterday wielded the axe on Kombayi and MDC-T councillor, Kenneth Sithole, saying he was just implementing recommendations made by an independent tribunal appointed to investigate the 15 councillors’ alleged shenanigans.
“The tribunal decided that councillors – Kombayi and Sithole – be dismissed and that the remaining councillors, though guilty, be reinstated,” he said.
The three Zanu PF councillors, Charles Simbi, Joas Tsanyau and Tiripai Chipondeni were absolved of the charges.
Kombayi’s charges included authorising payment of $1 875 towards MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai’s stay at Antelope Park and refusing to surrender his mayoral vehicle, a Mazda BT50, to council after he was suspended.
Sithole was found guilty of one out of the four counts he was facing.
Kasukuwere said by-elections for wards represented by Kombayi and Sithole would be held in due course.
The councillors were initially suspended in 2015, before they appealed and won a High Court reprieve, which Kasukuwere defied.
Instead, the minister appointed a three-member caretaker commission, led by Tsunga Mhangami, to run council affairs, pending the findings of the tribunal investigating the councillors.