The Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC says Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, must be fired for alleged corruption.
Reacting to the recent dismissal of Bindura mayor Daniso Wakatama and Councillor Christopher Mazembe on what the party described as trumped-up corruption charges, the MDC-T said it was a curious paradox that a person whose life allegedly revolved around corruption would be the one pointing fingers at others.
“If there is anyone who must be fired for corruption, it is Chombo himself following the recent publication of massive wealth and property which could only have been corruptly acquired,” the party said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Chombo’s dubious commission found Mayor Wakatama guilty of a truly administrative issue such as collecting revenue from ratepayers and failing to bank it. There is no way a mayor of a town can move around the town collecting money from ratepayers. This is purely a fabricated charge, which should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.”
Charges against Wakatama are that he received and receipted $60 000 from Zaoga Church which was meant for the purchase of a university stand but the mayor did not buy the stand.
It is alleged that Wakatama, in the company of the two councillors and some council officials, proceeded to Harare where they bought two vehicles and a tractor in Bindura without going to tender.
The MDC-T said it was shocking that Chombo decided to uphold a ruling from a “kangaroo” court presided by a handpicked commission while throwing out a ruling of a competent and legally constituted court.
“After years of Zanu PF maladministration, corruption and embezzlement of council resources, Chombo and Zanu PF continue to meddle in the affairs of local authorities with limited resources.
“No amount of firing and setting-up of commissions of inquiry for democratically elected councils will cleanse Chombo of his grime. His actions are not only politically motivated, but are clear evidence of abuse of office to further the interests of the opposition Zanu PF,” said the MDC-T.
The party said Chombo should be stopped immediately from manipulating the law for selfish Zanu PF projects while derailing service delivery.
Chombo has come under fire from political parties and members of civic society for allegedly acquiring wealth through corrupt means.
“The MDC calls for a spirited campaign against Chombo by all progressive forces. It is an affront to democracy when Chombo, a senior member of a losing party, Zanu PF, continues to abuse public office,” the MDC-T said.