LOCAL Government minister Ignatius Chombo says he has fired suspended Mutare mayor Brian Leslie James, accusing him of mismanagement, misconduct and insubordination.
Report by Voice of America
Chombo said the suspended mayor would not be allowed to occupy any local authority post for the next 10 years.
The minister suspended James in March last year claiming that the MDC-T councillor was incompetent and mismanaged council affairs.
James’ lawyer Blessing Nyamaropa said it was unlawful for Chombo to fire his client as the High Court bars him (Chombo) from taking any further action against the suspended mayor.
David Mukunda of the Combined Mutare Residents’ Trust said Chombo was predictable in the way he dealt with cases involving councillors from the MDC-T.
Meanwhile, the minister is said to have snubbed Mutare acting mayor George Jerison on Monday when he visited his offices trying to persuade him to reverse a decision taken by the city’s town clerk to fire 450 contract workers earlier this month.
Jerrison and his team spent the whole day at Chombo’s offices, but left empty-handed since he did not entertain them.
A special council meeting last week recommended that Jerison and other council officials should travel to Harare to ask the minister to intervene to force the town clerk to renew contracts for the fired employees.
The council said pressing financial obligations forced them not to renew the contracts. The town clerk last week told the special council meeting that he had no powers to rehire the workers, adding only Chombo could give such authority.
The MDC-T councillors are under pressure from their party to ensure the fired contract workers are reinstated ahead of crucial elections this year.