Norton residents’ leader refuses to step down

BY ANDREW KUNAMBURA

RESIDENTS of Knowe low-density suburb in Norton have accused their chairperson, army colonel Todson Ruramai of refusing to step down 18 years after his election.Knowe is an upmarket suburb in Norton developed by Eddies Pfugari Properties, a company owned by the late Edward Nyanyiwa, popularly known as Eddies Pfugari.

Ruramai has chaired the Knowe Residents Association for 18 years despite being eligible for only two terms of two years each.

The residents have since formed a breakaway association by the same name, but Ruramai has reportedly denied them access to the association’s books of
accounts.

The disgruntled residents have also accused Ruramai of using the association’s money to fund legal battles against the developer.

“He does not want to leave the seat. He has been there for 18 years, yet our constitution says one can only chair the association for a maximum of four years. He has been there since 2002. That’s where our contention is. He is basically a one-man committee,” said chairman of the breakaway faction, Damian Ndoro.

“We cannot for now say with certainty that he abused funds because he is holding on to our financial books which we want audited.”

Ruramai confirmed that he had remained chairperson since 2002, claiming he was the only paid-up member in all elections held.

“They attempted to stage what I can call a coup de grace against me in 2017 where they purported to pass a vote of no confidence against me, which was not even on the agenda,” Ruramai said.

“They were not eligible to even be in that meeting according to our constitution because they were not paid-up members at the time, let alone get into positions. They were all in arrears and so, the vote of no confidence was null and void,” Ruramai said.

He said everyone in that meeting was not eligible to vote, leaving him with no option but to cling to the chairmanship.

He also denied abusing funds through legal bills, saying: “I have the power of attorney to represent the residents in court and the money has been used well.”

But Ndoro shot back, saying: “He is just by himself. He goes to court on his own. He hasn’t held any meeting for the past seven or so years which gave him that mandate. He has overstayed and he cannot purport to represent us.”

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