GOKWE — A legal battle looms between Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo and suspended Gokwe town chairman Darlington Mudondo who was summoned to appear before a three-member board of inquiry six months after his suspension from office.
Mudondo, through his lawyer Tawanda Zhuwarara, had already approached the High Court seeking an order to compel Chombo to reinstate him on the basis that the minister had failed to conduct a hearing within 45 days of his suspension.
Mudondo told NewsDay he was still consulting lawyers to establish if he could attend a hearing he claimed, according to the Urban Councils Act, was now illegal.
“We made a court application, Case 10269/12, at the Harare High Court citing that the minister had breached provisions of the Act which he intends to use to charge me. It’s only after I had approached the courts that Chombo has set up this inquiry,” Mudondo said.
In a letter marked X10/34 dated October 30, Chombo advised Mudondo of the hearing which will be chaired by one D. Chidenge.
“I have in the interest of fairness and with the desire to uphold natural justice appointed a board of inquiry whose members are D Chidenge (chairman) M Hungwe and C Mazai. The hearing will be held on November 20 at 9am at Gokwe Town Council,” read part of the letter served to Mudondo.
Mudondo was suspended over allegations of gross incompetence, corruption and failure to rein in fired town secretary Tapiwa Marongwe who, according to Chombo, was running the local authority like his “fiefdom”.