Kwekwe divided over Zingwe

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KWEKWE — City fathers in direct contravention of the Urban Councils Act have gone for the past two months without holding full council meetings in the wake of a directive by Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Ignatius Chombo to reinstate the fired city treasurer Albert Zingwe.

July and August passed without any full council meeting as Mayor Shadreck Tobaiwa made attempts to get Chombo to withdraw his August 5 directive to have Zingwe reinstated.

Council only sat once in August for a special council meeting where they failed to agree on how to handle the Chombo directive and a full council was supposed to pass a resolution.

Section 84 of the Urban Councils Act directs that a council shall have an ordinary meeting once every month.

A full council meeting was supposed to sit and decide on the fate of Zingwe and probably decide on the course of action in dealing with Chombo’s directive which Kwekwe has so far defied after deputy minister Sesil Zvidzai said the minister’s directive was illegal and should be ignored.

“I am sure that councils know how to deal with illegal directives from the minister,” Zvidzai said of his boss’s directive.

Deputy Mayor Helena Mkosana said the local authority was facing challenges which needed to be cleared before full council could sit. She, however, said councillors would sit before September ends.

“We had some challenges which needed to be addressed, but everything is fine now and we will be moving forward now,” said Mkosana.

The issue surrounding the firing and reinstatement of Zingwe seems to have divided councillors all from the MDC-T with six out of the 13 councillors calling on the mayor to reinstate Zingwe then seek to engage Chombo thereafter while the mayor remains adamant the former treasurer should stay at home.

Meanwhile, the commission of inquiry appointed to probe the local authority on allegations of corruption, mismanagement of council resources and the unproceedural appointment of senior council employees is yet to come to the town. Chombo has insisted it is coming.

“They have been delayed by other duties which they may be going about, but I signed that letter to appoint a commission, therefore it is now a case of implementation and the commission will be in Kwekwe to probe those allegations,” said Chombo.