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Treasurer faces demotion

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There is a stand-off within Kwekwe City Council over the unresolved matter involving city treasurer Albert Zingwe, who was mysteriously sent on forced leave early this year, but reinstated last month.

He is, however, yet to resume his official duties.

Zingwe, who stands accused of corruption in the procurement of water treatment chemicals, has since the beginning of November been reporting to work to sit in his office while audit manager Morris Mutema continues as acting treasurer.

Council is divided with the town clerk Emmanuel Musara at odds with councillors on how to proceed with the matter, a situation that at one time culminated into near fisticuffs between the two parties.

Mayor Shadreck Tobaiwa has insisted that a thorough investigation on Zingwe be conducted while the treasurer was reassigned to perform other duties.

Councillor Aaron Gwalazimba, the audit committee chairman, demanded that council should immediately bring charges against Zingwe or drop the matter altogether.

“Gwalazimba demanded to know why council had not tabled the report compiled against Zingwe, when the town clerk had told council that the report had been completed and would be presented to council once Zingwe was given a copy of his report,” said a councillor who refused to be named.

Sources said there was a near exchange of blows during the heated council caucus meeting as councillors haggled over the way forward amid reports that Tobaiwa wanted a new investigation opened.

“Gwalazimba and Ngozo (Johannes) almost exchanged blows over this issue with Gwalazimba accusing his fellow councillor of being used by the mayor who they alleged has joined the gravy train within the local authority,” said a councillor who attended the meeting.

Ngozo, however, denied there was acrimony during caucus although he admitted there were differences on how to proceed with the matter.
Gwalazimba, who was more interested on the source of the information, could neither deny nor confirm what exactly took place during the caucus meeting.

“Who told you about that incident? Why should you go around picking stories like that? I want you to tell me your source of information first before I can answer you,” said Gwalazimba.

Meanwhile, sources told NewsDay that Musara, approached Zingwe last Friday in their first ever meeting since November 1, advising him he would be reassigned as director of public relations pending finalisation of investigations into his alleged misconduct.

Zingwe could not be drawn to comment, but said he was still waiting for instructions in writing if council wanted to move him from his current portfolio.

“All I can say is I am at my office and if council wants to change my portfolio, my boss will have to communicate in writing, at the moment that has not happened. I can confirm that there has been no handover/ takeover as concerns my office so I have not yet resumed my duties,” said Zingwe.

Tobaiwa refused to comment on the matter saying the issue has not been brought before his council and would only be in a position to comment after getting the report.

“I don’t know when the matter is going to come before council, but as it stands there is nothing I can say because we have not been presented with any information regarding Zingwe, his planned demotion or future action to be taken against him,” said Tobaiwa

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