HomeLocal NewsStalemate as ex-mayor refuses to vacate council house

Stalemate as ex-mayor refuses to vacate council house

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Two years after leaving office, former Kwekwe executive mayor Stanford Bonyongwa is still staying in the mayoral house and has resisted moves by council to evict him.

Bonyongwa is allegedly demanding a golden handshake before vacating the council property.

Attempts by the Shadreck Tobaiwa-led council to evict the former mayor from the mansion continue to hit a brick wall and council is said to be considering taking the matter to the courts.

Bonyongwa has allegedly offered to buy the mansion as part of his exit package, which would include the official Mercedes Benz which he used as mayor, 24 months’ salary gratuity, a residential stand of his choice, cellphone, bedroom suite and an engraved certificate of appreciation, among others.

“They have told me that they are going to take the matter to court and I have told them to go ahead, but my position is clear: council should make good the directive issued by Local Government, Rural and Urban Development minister Ignatius Chombo before I can move out,” said Bonyongwa.

The government has turned down Bonyongwa’s offer to buy the mayoral mansion and instead asked him to identify any other council house which he would then purchase at 50 percent of market value.

He has since been given part of his exit package except the house which now remains the sticking point.

Council is refusing to part with its property while the former mayor digs in his heels saying he would not move out of the mansion unless he has been given an opportunity to buy it.

A special committee led by Councillor Aaron Gwalazimba recommended that council should not dispose the house to Bonyongwa.

According to minutes of a recent full council meeting, council resolved that Bonyongwa “be given notice to vacate the mayoral mansion by end of May 2009” and that he should not be given an option to buy any council house.

The council said this was in line with what other executive mayors got countrywide.

The committee quoted a government circular on mayoral exit packages, dated March 10 2008 reference LM/WF/Pers, which directed councils not to give outgoing mayors immovable property as exit packages.

However, Bonyongwa said he had made a separate arrangement with Chombo whom he alleged had approved his exit package to include the house.

The local authority argues that Bonyongwa’s demands were tantamount to plunder and could therefore not be tolerated.

Town clerk Emanuel Musara recused himself from the dispute saying he was an interested party.

Musara had at one time attempted to buy the mayoral house ahead of Bonyongwa as part of his exit package when he reaches retirement age in two years.

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