THE 11 MDC-T Gweru councillors, suspended by Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere last year on allegations of corruption and incompetence, appeared before a special tribunal on Monday.
By Stephen Chadenga
The councillors were initially set to resume their duties last November after Kasukuwere withdrew his appeal at the Supreme Court in Bulawayo, where he had challenged High Court judge Justice Francis Bere’s order directing him to reinstate the city fathers, but were resuspended to allow for the appointment of a tribunal to hear their case.
Chairperson of the caretaker commission running Gweru council affairs, Tsunga Mhangami, told Southern Eye on Tuesday that the tribunal resumed hearings this week, but refused to comment further saying it was beyond his jurisdiction.
“I can’t comment much on suspended councillors and the tribunal, it’s not within our purview,” he said.
The councillors’ lawyer, Brian Dube, said the hearings were continuing with only one council witness, former acting chamber secretary, Gibson Chingwadza, testifying.
“The proceedings are continuing tomorrow (today) and so far one witness has testified only that the proceedings were disturbed by a council meeting (yesterday) which some of the witnesses attended that meeting.
“But I must hasten to say the proceedings are smooth and so far the [members of the] tribunal have shown professionalism in their conduct,” Dube said.
The councillors, who include mayor Hamutendi Kombayi, are also accused of abusing council resources buying beverages and food, hosting opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai at the ratepayers’ expense and irregular engagement of land developers, charges the city fathers have denied.