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Kwekwe mayor gags councillors

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A clash is looming between Kwekwe mayor Shadreck Tobaiwa and councillors after the former issued an order barring all city fathers and local authority officials from speaking to the Press.

Tobaiwa accused the councillors of allegedly leaking confidential and damaging information to the public.

But the councillors on Tuesday vowed to defy the order which they described as draconian and an infringement on their democratic rights. The councillors also said the order was against the founding principles of their MDC-T party.

Speaking at a recent full council meeting, Tobaiwa accused councillors of leaking information relating to a collapsed deal between the local authority and Limsol Trading over traditional beer brewer Simba Breweries.

The MDC-T-dominated council held a special meeting to discuss frosty relations with Limsol and how the two would deal with the 51 workers whose wages have not been paid since January 2010.

Tobaiwa said only town clerk Emmanuel Musara and himself were the official spokespersons of council.

“We have said this before, newspapers are out to sell so we should not give them reckless statements which allow them to sell. Councillors should know that the official council spokespersons are the mayor and town clerk and nobody else is allowed to speak to the Press,” Tobaiwa said.

The order also applies to all council employees. Councillor Aaron Sithole told NewsDay he was democratically elected to serve the people of his ward and as an elected official, he is expected to give feedback to his constituency.

Councillor Weston Masiya also denounced the order as draconian and ill-advised.

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