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Councillors boycott hearing


Harare city councillors Warship Dumba and Casper Takura, who were suspended on allegations of “dishonesty”, have refused attend a hearing because they have not been made aware of the accusations against them.

In a letter addressed to the chamber secretary’s office, Dumba said the identities of the investigators had to be made known to them otherwise they would not attend the hearings.

“Your notice should also include the identities of the so-called investigators as we may have reason to object to being investigated by those individuals,” Dumba wrote.

Dumba and Takura said they would not attend the hearing unless the full nature of allegations levelled against them was made known to them.

“The fact that you are summoning us for interviewing without disclosing to us either verbally or in writing, the full nature of the allegations against us is indicative of the fact that the Minister (of Local Government, Ignatius Chombo) is involved in a fishing expedition and hopes to concoct allegations against us,” Dumba said.

Dumba said they also needed the summoning for the hearing to be put in writing so that they could brief their legal representatives on the matter.

“Please put your summons in writing as we may need adequate time to brief our legal representatives,” he said.

Dumba and Takura were late last year suspended by Chombo on allegations of dishonesty.

The letter signed by the minister did not explain the nature of the dishonesty.

The councillors have in the past alleged that they were being intimidated so that they would not pursue their investigations into allegations of a land scam involving Chombo.

Dumba and Takura are part of a council committee investigating the alleged land scam and produced a damning 54-page report implicating Chombo and businessman Phillip Chiyangwa.

On Monday, Chombo said it was not possible for the councillors to refuse to appear before a disciplinary committee.

“Do you think that is possible?” Chombo asked.
“There are two committees they should appear before. One is to substantiate allegations and the other would be like a court to try them and come up with a verdict,” Chombo said.

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