The power struggles at Kwekwe City Council took a new twist Wednesday when the city treasurer was unofficially offered an early retirement option amid indications that top Zanu PF political figures in the province could be meddling in council affairs.
Town clerk Emmanuel Madzuritanda Musara is alleged to have sent an emissary to Alfred Zingwe to sweet-talk him into early retirement or risk facing a slew of new allegations.
Musara’s close confidante, Dr Alva Senderai (former director of health services), approached Zingwe with the offer, which he claimed had been put on the table by the town clerk.
Senderai told Zingwe that Musara wanted an amicable end to the power struggle which resulted in him (Zingwe) being placed on forced leave two months ago.
Senderai, according to impeccable sources, told Zingwe he had been sent by Musara to ask him to retire from council.
“He said he would be happy if you considered an early retirement plan or otherwise risk being elbowed out of council with nothing because he says he can throw in a whole lot of new allegations including that of poor corporate governance . . . ,” said Senderai.
Senderai claimed Musara wanted to charge Zingwe with new allegations which he alleged were uncovered during a special investigation into alleged acts of misconduct.
He told Zingwe that the issue of water treatment chemicals had been dropped.
“The issue of water treatment chemicals is no longer on the cards,” Senderai allegedly said.
“Musara was saying something about petrol and ballistic street lights which he said you made payments for but had not been delivered.”
The emissary (Senderai) appeared to drag Zanu PF Midlands provincial supremo July Moyo into the saga, saying Moyo had also been asked by Musara to convince Zingwe to leave council through early retirement.
“Can you confirm that July Moyo was also sent to you to discuss this same matter?” asked Senderai during discussion.
“I say so because he told me that he (Musara) had also sent him (Moyo) to discuss this issue so that it is concluded expediently.”
Zingwe then confirmed in the recorded conversation that indeed Moyo, the former Zanu PF Midlands chairman and ex-Social Welfare minister, had approached him to discuss his placement on forced leave and possible retirement.
Highly placed sources said Moyo played a pivotal role in the employment of Musara as town clerk, even though he had performed dismally in the interviews and had continued to save him from potentially embarrassing situations as head of Town House.
The sources said former executive mayor Stanford Bonyongwa had twice attempted to suspend the town clerk on allegations of gross incompetence, but his moves were blocked by council, which at the time was heavily dominated by Zanu PF.
The sources said Moyo played kingmaker and blocked the moves using his political muscle.
Bonyongwa confirmed in an interview with NewsDay yesterday that he had twice tried to suspend Musara but failed to garner the required support from fellow councillors.
He, however, could not be brought to confirm Moyo’s involvement, only saying “politics was at play”.
Meanwhile, Zingwe’s lawyer, Martin Makonese of Makonese and Partners, is reported to have listened to the recorded conversation and immediately written to council demanding that the treasurer be called back to work without further delay.
However, Makonese could not confirm whether he had listened to the conversation or written to council over the matter, saying any comment would harm his client’s cause.
“I can confirm that Zingwe is on leave and that investigations are ongoing. We are yet to be advised of the outcome of such investigations.
Zingwe is anxious to resume work.
“At present, we are unable to comment further on the matter,” said the lawyer in a written response.