GWERU residents are demanding that the former commission running the affairs in the city should recompense allowances paid to them when their term of office expired.
By Stephen Chadenga
The three-member commission, chaired by Tsunga Mhangami, was appointed by government in August 2015 following the suspension of 18 councillors.
The tenure of office of the commission, however, ended 90 days after August 14, 2015, but they remained in office up to March of the following year, with the local authority paying them allowances.
Gweru Residents and Ratepayers’ Association secretary Cleophas Matongo said residents wanted the former commissioners to repay what they got when their term of office expired, as they were not entitled to such payments.
“As residents, we demand the commission reimburses all allowances they got after their legal term of office (expired),” Matongo said in a letter addressed to Local Government minister July Moyo and dated March 29, 2018.
“Giving the commission the mandate to run the affairs of Gweru City Council beyond their 90-day life span was a legal nullity.”
The residents’ demands were part of a broader petition demanding government to meet the legal costs incurred by former town clerk Daniel Matawu, as well as pay his dues following a High Court order to reinstate him after he was fired in July 2016 on charges of incompetence and negligence.
During their tenure, the commissioners were accused of extravagance, with reports that they gobbled $67 000.
The commissioners, however, disputed the figure, but never divulged the exact amount to stakeholders.
Council spokesperson Manford Gambiza said the municipality was yet to receive such a letter, although it (letter) was copied to mayor Charles Chikozho.
“We haven’t seen such a letter and if it was copied to council, we are yet to receive it,” he said.
Chikozho could not be reached for comment.