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Gokwe town chairperson suspended

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Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo has suspended Gokwe town chairperson Darlington Mudondo on allegations of “corruption and incompetence”.

Mudondo was served with his suspension letter on Tuesday.

Acting town chairperson Vengesai Chipfuko confirmed Mudondo’s suspension, but declined to comment on the matter, saying he would only do so after tomorrow’s full council meeting.

Part of the suspension letter, dated May 22, reads: “Pursuant to the deployment of an investigation team to look into allegations of corruption and fraud in the awarding of tenders by your local authority. . . I hereby in terms of sections 141 (1) (D) (i) (ii) of the Urban Councils Act suspend you from office of councilor.”

According to Chombo, Mudondo will be invited for a disciplinary hearing soon.

“Findings by the investigations team indicate that you demonstrated apparent neglect of duty as head of council when council on numerous occasions flaunted laid-down procedures through awarding of contracts to companies — including yours — without adhering to the comparative guiding principles as outlined in your procurement regulations,” Chombo said.

Mudondo is also accused of failing to rein in town secretary Tapiwa Marongwe, who is also currently under suspension on allegations of fraud.

Chombo added: “ . . . further you failed to rein in your town secretary leading to his abuse of office in the awarding of street lighting, vehicle and sewer reticulation supply tenders.”

Chombo has clashed with the MDC-T over the suspension of several of its mayors and councillors on allegations of corruption countrywide.

The MDC-T has accused Chombo of abusing the Urban Councils Act to clamp down on its elected officials in an effort to frustrate them, allegations Chombo has repeatedly denied.

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