Power squabbles derail Nkayi RDC 2021 budget

BY SILAS NKALA

THE 2021 budget process for the Nkayi Rural District Council has been delayed due to power squabbles amid allegations that the council’s treasurer, Lawrence Mudimba, and two councillors are frustrating debates during council meetings.

Councillors that are allegedly working with Mudimba to disrupt council decisions are Lot Fuzane and Mthandazo Sibanda.

They are said to be always coercing council chairperson Jameson Mnethwa to endorse their suggested resolutions.

This has resulted in other councillors petitioning council to the effect that Mudimba defied COVID-19 lockdown regulations after he called for a council meeting which was to be held on January 11, to discuss budget issues.

The petition reads: “This was to cover up for his failures, since there was plenty of time during the whole of 2020 to call for full council meetings for the budget.

“Instead he took that opportunity to fight his former boss (chief executive officer), Zimbabwe Ndlovu, whom he accused of wresting (sic) him out in order to clandestinely take over the post of CEO.”

The councillors also alleged that apart from using Fuzane and Sibanda, Mudimba also works with the district development co-ordinator Matilda Mlotshwa to frustrate other councillors.

“Nkayi RDC delayed submitting a budget for approval by the ministry. The council lost 50% of its revenues which was used to hold seven useless special full council meetings meant to fight the former CEO (Ndlovu) during the whole of 2020.”

They said despite that the Nkayi RDC has 30 councillors; it is being run by only three individuals who have an interest in being CEOs.

“Ratepayers are complaining over abuse of their money for development being channelled towards fighting Ndlovu. Mudimba should be investigated and face justice …,” the petition read.

Mudimba was also accused of grabbing a council vehicle on November 25 and 26 and December 7, 2020 to use it for his personal errands while council was grappling with COVID-19 issues.

Yesterday, he (Mudimba) confirmed the problems at council, but said they were caused by Ndlovu who abused council resources.

“I am now the acting CEO and I think they just want me out. It’s their democratic right to have such a wish,” Mudimba said.

Mnethwa, however, dismissed the claims that he was being used to endorse decisions made by only three councillors.

“We give all of them a chance to speak and if their ideas are shot down, it’s not my duty to defend them. Yes, the budget drafting process was disturbed by these issues, but we have now done it and we sent it to Harare on January 14,” Mnethwa said.

He said there was indiscipline at Nkayi RDC, adding that there was need for the provincial development co-ordinator to visit their council to instil discipline on councillors.

Fuzane declined to comment, while Sibanda said the allegations were false.

“If there was such concern those councillors should have raised it during the full council meeting,” Sibanda said.

Ndlovu said last year, a series of special council meetings, that wasted a lot of money, were held.

He confirmed that he was retrenched as CEO, adding that he was offered a small package.

“The termination letter is unlawful. I have written a letter notifying them that I do not accept their termination of contract and the package they paid,” Ndlovu said.

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