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Chombo dragged to court again

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A BULAWAYO resident Alick Gumede on Tuesday filed an urgent High Court chamber application seeking to block Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo’s appointment of two special interest councillors.

Report by Silas Nkala

In two letters dated February 22 addressed to mayor Thaba Moyo, Chombo advised Bulawayo City Council of the appointment of Siphiwe Ncube and Gacha Mazitulela as special interest councillors.

“By notice of this letter, I have the pleasure to appoint Gacha Mazitulela and Sipiwe Ncube as special interest councillors for Bulawayo City Council in terms of section 4A of the Urban Councils Act Chapter 29:15,” reads part of Chombo’s letter.

Gumede’s lawyer Job Sibanda filed the application at the Bulawayo High Court arguing “such appointments were grossly irregular as to defy common sense in that the life of council to which they have been appointed comes to an end in the next month or so”.

“Such appointment shall not benefit council, but shall only drain the financial resources of the council to which applicant is a contributor by virtue of him being a ratepayer,” reads part of the application.

Chombo was cited as the first respondent, town clerk Middleton Nyoni is the second respondent and Bulawayo City Council third respondent, while Ncube and Mazitulela were cited as fourth and fifth respondents respectively.

In his founding affidavit, Gumede of Pelandaba and a member of the Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (BPRA) said Chombo “may not act as a law unto himself without consequences or without being called upon to account”.

He said the minister can also not “act irrationally when he exercises such powers because the results of his actions have serious consequences for ratepayers like myself”.

He said Chombo did not apply his mind properly to the consequences that council would suffer.

The latest court case comes barely a month after another resident Jack Matshazi blocked Chombo from causing the swearing in of Fedelis Fengu as a special interest councillor representing people with disabilities. Bulawayo High Court Judge, Justice Lawrence Kamocha on January 21 granted an interim order interdicting council from swearing in Fengu. Chombo was yet to respond to the lawsuit by yesterday.

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