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Suspended Gweru Councillors' Case Set to Kick Off

The Bulawayo High Court is set to hear the case next week.
The Bulawayo High Court is set to hear the case next week.

The High Court will next week hear a case of suspended Gweru councilors, who are seeking an order to be reinstated.

This comes at a time city residents are angry over the current commission appointed by the Ministry of Local Government, which they say is not delivering the necessary services.

Attorney Reginald Chidawanyika, one of the lawyers representing the councillors, told Studio 7 over the phone that the High Court in Bulawayo has set February 18 as the date on which the matter will be heard.

Chidawanyika said his clients have made an application to the court for a final order to have them reinstated, adding that he was optimistic that the order would be granted, and possibly bringing
closure to the drawn out case.

Kasukuwere suspended all 18 Gweru councillors last August on allegations of incompetence and corruption. He later fired three councillors who have since been replaced through a by election.

The minister had appointed a three-member tribunal, which was supposed to conduct disciplinary hearings.

But eleven of the councillors, including mayor Hamutendi Kombayi, filed an urgent chamber application at the Bulawayo High Court seeking to overturn their suspension and also to halt the hearings.

Gweru council is currently being run by a commission which Kasukuwere put in place after the councillors’ suspension.

Cornelia Selipiwe, the chairperson of the Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association told Studio 7 that his association hopes that the issue of the suspended councillors will be brought to finality soon as residents are disgruntled by the prolonged stay of the commission, which they accuse of not being accountable to them.

“Councillors were suspended on allegations of corruption and we fully appreciate that. But the issue of the continued stay of the commission without the issue of the councilors being brought to finality is a problem on its own.

There is no link whatsoever between the commissioners and the residents, so it is only desirable for the issue to be brought to finality so that those councillors found on the wrong side of the law are brought to book and those that are not guilty can return to council.

“We can’t continue having the commission in place indefinitely because it is expensive. We need councillors that we can talk to about the issues of service delivery.”

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights has successfully challenged the withholding of Ordinary Level examination certificates for two ‘O’ Level students by their former school authorities after they had failed to settle school fees and levy arrears.

Tanaka Ngwasha and Takudzwa Ngwasha, who sat for their examinations in 2013 and 2014 respectively at Townsend High School, have since been ordered to go and collect their certificates at the school after the authorities bowed down to a challenge through a letter by lawyers group.

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