Bulawayo deputy mayor, Tinashe Kambarami, has suspended Town Clerk, Christopher Dube, following allegations that he has failed to manage the current water crisis, misappropriated council funds and abused his office by acquiring property in contravention to stipulated council procedures.
But Dube has hit back saying Kambarami has a hidden agenda as he suspended him without pay after taking advantage of the mayor’s absence. Some councilors say they have no idea of what is going on following Dube’s suspension.
In a letter to Dube, Kambarami noted that Dube has been suspended with immediate effect in terms of the Urban Councils Act Section 139 (3) relating to the conditions of service of the town clerk.
“This suspension is without benefits and you are hereby ordered to surrender all council property in your possession.”
Kambarami said Dube failed to tackle the current water crisis in the city, which has left thousands of people without water.
“The city has experienced one of the worst water delivery ever due to lack of your supervision … Your failure to effectively manage repairs and maintenance works has exposed the city to water borne diseases like cholera and typhoid.”
The deputy mayor, said to be backed by three close colleagues while other councilors are in the dark about the suspension, also accused Dube of misappropriating the council’s Ward Retention Fund.
“According to the council minutes as submitted 3 July 2019, the fund is supposed to be having a credit of $4,441 909 yet the account showed less than $10,000 balance as at 10 July 2019. You therefore misled Council. It is also alleged that you paid some contractors in advance without authority of council and yet works have not been done and council has lost money.”
At the same time, Kambarami claims that Dube abused his office when he allegedly acquired property in contravention of council procedures.
“Sometime in 2017, working in conivence with the then Mayor Alderman Martin Moyo you were issued with an offer letter to mine gold at GoodHope/Aisleby Farm in contravention with council procedure. As town clerk you got this offer letter before a council resolution and you therefore willfully violated council procedures that you were aware of and influenced the decision by the mayor and became (a) beneficiary in this commission/omission. Such misconduct, dishonest, negligence contravenes Section 139 (b) of your conditions of service.”
Dube is further accused of failing to implement some council resolutions.
He dismissed all the allegations saying “Kambarami is wrong. He cannot suspend me. I can only be suspended by the mayor who has told me to stay put. I’m not going anywhere.”
Kambarami and Mguni were not available for comment.
A councilor who requested anonymity said, “Frankly speaking, this is a big mess. I’m not even aware that the town clerk has been suspended. I read it on social media. Kambarami is not doing the right thing.”
Council spokesperson Nesisa Nyathi declined to comment.