HomeNewsGwanda council ignores Chombo directive

Gwanda council ignores Chombo directive


GWANDA Town Council has reportedly ignored Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo’s directive to sell one of its houses to Zanu PF Politburo member Abednico Ncube because the matter was before the courts.

Chombo on August 20 this year directed Gwanda municipality to sell house number 82, Senondo Township, to Ncube, a former Foreign Affairs deputy minister.

The order came after the local authority had evicted Ncube from the house through a court order sometime last year.

Gwanda acting mayor Sithokozile Sibanda yesterday told NewsDay that the local authority was unable to act on Chombo’s directive because it would be beyond the powers of the court order.

“We have not yet done anything because this case was in court and the court made its ruling,” she said. “We are unable to do anything concerning the directive now.”

Ncube was offered the house by the Zanu PF-controlled council to rent on a gratuitous basis after he won his first parliamentary seat in 1995.

After he lost the parliamentary election in 2008, the town council asked him to vacate rented premises, but he refused, leading the local authority to take legal action against him.

Council lawyers took the matter to court before Chombo suspended mayor Lionel DeNecker. The court ruled in favour of the council and ordered Ncube to vacate the property.

However, Chombo ordered council to allow Ncube to buy the property arguing, as a sitting tenant, the latter was entitled to acquire it.

“Therefore, according to the powers vested on me as a minister under section 314 of the Urban Councils Act, I hereby direct you to sell the house to Abednico Ncube,” reads part of Chombo’s directive.

But Gwanda councillors vowed to defy the order .

Chombo could not be reached for comment yesterday as his mobile phone went unanswered.

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