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Zimbabwe Local Gov't Minister Under Fire for Suspending Gwanda Mayor

  • Ntungamili Nkomo

Residents in the small town, the capital of Matabeleland South province, also came to the defense of ousted Mayor Lionel De Necker, describing him as a hard working public servant who cared less about politics, but more about service delivery

The Movement for Democratic Change formation headed by Zimbabwean Industry Minister Welshman Ncube launched a broadside Friday at Local Government Minister Ignatias Chombo for suspending its Gwanda mayor.

Residents in the small town, the capital of Matabeleland South province, also came to the defense of ousted Mayor Lionel De Necker, describing him as a hard working public servant who cared less about politics, but more about service delivery.

Minister Ignatias Chombo accused De Necker of defying his orders. Over the years, Chombo, a Zanu PF official, has targeted MDC municipalities, suspending councilors in a crusade widely viewed as politically-motivated.

MDC Organising Secretary Qhubani Moyo accused Chombo of trying to destabilize the Gwanda council, dominated by the former opposition.

He said the move had given his party new impetus to advocate devolution of power to prevent ministers like Chombo from overreaching and unfairly firing elected officials.

"We will use every avenue available, politically and legally to make sure that this unjust act is overturned."

Gwanda resident, Jaston Mazhale told VOA that De Necker served the town well, adding his removal was regrettable.

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