HomeLocal NewsCouncillor probed over ‘offensive’ T-shirt

Councillor probed over ‘offensive’ T-shirt

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AN investigating team appointed by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo to preside over hearings into the suspensions in February of three councillors in Chinhoyi Town Council accused of “indecent behaviour” began its work last week.

Own Correspondent

During the hearings, one of the suspended policymakers exposed what appeared to be inconsistencies in the charges laid against him by the then acting town clerk.

Suspended Ward 11 MDC-T councillor Tendai Musonza reportedly confronted and accused Makonde district administrator Webster Tembo, who was acting town clerk, of fabricating false charges against him to “kill his political career and settle personal scores”.

Musonza, who is MDC-T district secretary, was eyeing the Chinhoyi Urban parliamentary seat, but was yet to get his party’s nod to represent it in the forthcoming polls.

“Musonza dismissed all the charges laid against him, accusing Tembo of furnishing Chombo with wrong information to induce his suspension and consequently have him dismissed from council and spoil his chances of standing in the watershed elections,” said a source privy to the deliberations of the inquest held in council chambers last Friday.

According to the source, Musonza, who did not have legal representation, dismissed further accusations that he came late and disrupted the donor-funded meeting, arguing he, in fact, gave the opening prayer before proceedings started.

Minutes of the workshop gleaned by NewsDay showed that Musonza indeed gave the opening prayer.

The councillor also refuted allegations that he attended a workshop wearing “offensive” regalia, saying this was contrary to the spirit of political tolerance being preached by national political leaders, said the source.  Musonza reportedly attended the workshop wearing a T-shirt inscribed “Mugabe Must Go”.

Besides, Musonza reportedly argued, there was no dress code for a councillors’ workshop.

Tembo was reportedly at pains to convincingly defend himself during the heated deliberations. He was Chinhoyi acting town clerk at the time Musonza allegedly attended a councillors’ workshop wearing the controversial T-shirt.

It is further alleged Musonza conducted himself disorderly and disrupted the meeting with the potential of straining or ruining council’s relations with German donors.
On the day in question, Musonza clashed with two Zanu PF councillors who protested against his shirt.

He was consequently suspended by Chombo over the incident which occurred in the presence of development partners’ representatives and senior council officials.
Last week, the inquiry team also held inquests into the suspensions of former Chinhoyi acting mayor Busani Dube-Marumahoko (Ward 12) and Simeon Gotami (Ward 5) for their alleged involvement in a stands scam.

The suspensions were handed in terms of Section 114 (1) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15).

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