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Thursday 11 July 2019

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Deputy mayor Tinashe Kambarami.

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.

Job Sikhala and his lawyers in court ...

Vice chairperson of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Job Sikhala, has appeared before a Masvingo district magistrate facing charges of subversion.

Sikhala, who was arrested Tuesday following allegations of contravening Section 22 (2) (a) of the Criminal law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23), was remanded in custody to July 24th.

Job Sikhala on his way to court ...
Job Sikhala on his way to court ...

Lead counsel Aleck Mucadahama and his team, which includes Harrison Nkomo, Douglas Mwonzora, Jeremiah Bamu and Tinomuda Shoko of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, filed a bail application at the High Court in Masvingo seeking bail for the MDC lawmaker.

A message posted on the Facebook page of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights read in part, “At Masvingo High Court, ZLHR lawyers Jeremiah Bamu and Tinomuda Shoko have filed an application seeking the release of Zengeza West MP Hon. Job Sikhala on bail after he was remanded in custody at Bikita Magistrates Court by Magistrate Marewanazvo Gofa.”.

Some people outside the Bikita Magistrates Court in Masvingo.
Some people outside the Bikita Magistrates Court in Masvingo.

Sikhala told the court that he was blindfolded, handcuffed and bungled into a motor vehicle on Thursday and driven from Harare to Bikita.

He claimed that he was denied food and high blood pressure medicine for two days before he appeared in court Thursday.

Magistrate Marewanazvo Gofa remanded SIkhala in custody and advised him to apply for bail at the High Court.

The state claims that Sikhala told people in Bikita recently that his party will overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa before the 2023 general elections.

Meanwhile, MDC Youth Assembly leader Ostallos Siziba, who is facing similar charges, was granted 1,000 Zimbabwe dollars by a Harare magistrate on Thursday.

Sikhala and some of the MDC supporters outside the Bikita Magistrates Court ...
Sikhala and some of the MDC supporters outside the Bikita Magistrates Court ...

He allegedly made subversive statements while addressing members of his party recently in Glen View.

In a statement, his lawyers said, “In Harare, ZLHR lawyers have secured the release on $1 000 bail of MDC Youth Assembly Secretary-General Gift Ostallos Siziba charged with incitement to commit public violence. Magistrate Elijah Makomo ordered Ostallos to report three times per week at Harare Central Police Station. Ostallos returns to court on 24 July 2019.”

Former president Robert Mugabe's government once made similar allegations against the late Zapu leader Joshua Nkomo, the late Ndabaningi Sithole of Zanu (Ndonga), the late MDC founding president Morgan Tsvangirai and other opposition leaders.​

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