Zingwe saga takes yet another twist

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Embattled Kwekwe city treasurer Albert Zingwe’s future at the local authority hangs in the balance once again after the local authority alleged Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo had dissociated himself from the letter ordering his reinstatement.

Council lawyers alleged during a meeting between mayor Shadreck Tobaiwa and Chombo on October 4, the minister denied issuing the directive meaning Zingwe was effectively fired from work.

“The mayor met with the minister on the 4th of October 2011 . . . The Honourable Minister denied issuing that directive and completely disowned it,” reads part of the letter. Zingwe is, however, fighting for his job and has since hit back through his lawyer Carol Mugabe, dismissing claims by council over the Chombo letter as false.

“We hereby advise that without a written correspondence from the Honourable Minister . . . we stand by the lawful position, more specifically that with effect from the 5th of August 2011, there exists a lawful directive ordering our client be reinstated. We urge you to comprehensively appreciate that communications in private between the mayor and the minister on their own, are insufficient to alter and or revoke the said directive,” wrote Mugabe.

Permanent Secretary for Local Government Killian Mupingo said he was unaware of what transpired in the meeting between the minister and Tobaiwa, but confirmed the directive of reinstatement had come from Chombo’s office.

“I cannot speak for the minister or comment on a meeting I did not attend, but the minister has a copy of that letter and he knows about it. I don’t know on what basis is Kwekwe City Council claiming the letter is fake,” said Mupingo.

Council lawyers from Wilmont and Bennett argue if Zingwe is aggrieved, he should go to the minister and complain. They accuse the treasurer of having stolen a copy of the directive.

“The directive was never copied to your client and he only got it clandestinely . . . we regret we shall approach the courts for an interdict if your client continues to disturb ours. Why do you want to rely on dubious directives to resolve a purely legal issue?” reads a second letter from council lawyers. On August 5 a directive signed by Chombo compelled council to reinstate Zingwe.

Tobaiwa then wrote a letter on August 9 to Zingwe and attached the directive from the minister.