Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo has defended his decision not to fire councillors expelled by the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on allegations of corruption saying the MDC never informed his office of the allegations.
Minister Chombo told VOA Studio 7 that he will not take any action against all the councillors in different local authorities expelled from the MDC on allegations of corruption because he never received any formal complaints from Mr. Tsvangirai’s party.
The prime minister’s party fired some councillors in Harare, Chitungwiza, Gweru, Kwekwe and Zvishavane for allegedly engaging in corrupt activities but the councillors are still performing their duties as usual.
But MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said Mr. Chombo is not being honest arguing that his party made several complaints to his office.
Minister Chombo said councillors are elected officials and he does not have the power under the Urban Councils Act to fire them willy-nilly without holding official enquiries.
Meanwhile, Mr. Chombo said the calibre of councillors in several local authorities controlled by the MDC-T lacks depth in decision-making which he said is affecting service delivery.
However, Mr. Mwonzora dismissed Chombo’s assertions saying the minister’s continued interference in the management of council affairs in several municipalities is causing those inefficiencies.
He accused Mr. Chombo of political grandstanding ahead of general elections expected to be held sometime this year
Last year, the MDC-T fired 12 councillors in a number of municipalities for alleged corruption, including Harare deputy mayor Emmanuel Chiroto.
The party also fired the majority of its councillors in Chitungwiza on the same allegations, but all those expelled are still performing various duties.