GWERU-Minister of Local Government Savior Kasukuwere’s ploy to get rid of
all MDC-T run councils seems to be on course after suspending a 19
member Gweru council which include Mayor Hamutendi Kombayi on
allegations of gross mismanagement of council funds and incompetency.
The councillors which include 16 MDC-T council officials and 3 from
Zanu PF were served with suspension letters Thursday.
Radio VOP is in possession of the letter of suspension to councillor
for ward 10, Charles Chikozho where Kasukuwere aptly states that
councillors will not be allowed to engage in any council business.
The suspension is supposed to take up to sixty days and the Town
Clerk, Daniel Matawu is expected to manage the local authority in the
absence of Kombayi
Kasukuwere was quoted saying that he was targeting all MDC-T run local
authorities around the country and cracked his whip last week when he
fired two MDC-T councillors, Moses Marecha and Albert Chirau for gross
mismanagement of council funds.
Kasukuwere’s latest onslaught on the MDC-T dominated council is
expected to change the complection of the local authority which has
been under scrutiny from the Ministry of Local Government since the
tenure of the former minister Ignatius Chombo.
“Pursuant to the investigations carried out at Gweru City Council
which revealed your involvement in gross mismanagement, gross
misconduct, incompetence and dishonesty in connection with council
funds and affairs,” part of the suspension letter in possession of the
Radio VOP reads.
“I hereby in terms of Section 114 (1) (c) ,(d) (i) (ii) of the Urban
Councils Act Chapter 29 :15 , suspend you from being a Councillor in
Gweru with immediate effect,” Kasukuwere said.
Most councillors especially from MDC-T are accused of misusing council
property like clubs where they reportedly pocketed money from rentals.
Kombayi is also accused of buying council cattle for as little as $50
per herd and using council water for free at his Midlands Hotel.
Councillors also offset a $56 000 Hotel bill at Fairmile with food
over a period of one year.
Kasukuwere has therefore banished all councillors from engaging in any
council business henceforth.
“During the period of your suspension, you shall not conduct any
council business within or outside council premises, and you shall not
be legible to receive any remuneration from the council.”
Mayor Hamutendi Kombayi told Radio VOP that he was also expecting his
“I hear that my colleagues are being served suspension letters. I am
also expecting mine,” Kombayi said without revealing many details.
MDC-T Provincial spokesperson Munyaradzi Mutandavari said Kasukuwere
was just fulfilling his mission of bringing MDC-T run councils into
“These are the last kicks of a dying horse; the minister was once
quoted saying he wants to target MDC-T run councils. So he is
fulfilling his mission,” Mutandavari said.
He added that: “The suspension also includes Zanu PF councillors but
we all know that they will retain their wards when we go for the by
Last month a commission of inquiry investigating cases of gross
mismanagement of resources was unleashed on council.
MDC has since 2000 dominated the Gweru local authority, with Zanu (PF)
playing second fiddle with only three councillors in the current set
However the Gweru United Residents Association (GURA) chairperson
Rewards Mhuri said the suspensions were a clear sign of the
“This is a welcome development because I have never seen such a lazy
council like this one,” Mhuri fumed.
“There are many projects that were meant to benefit the residents
which were never completed, We have Factory Shelters in Mambo and
Mkoba which are not operational because they are busy misusing
The residents’ association had no kind words for the councillors whom
they accuse of conniving with management to hike tariffs by 35
percent, whilst accusing them of running down Go Beer.
Go Beer was shut down last year after years of gross mismanagement,
whilst most council farms are not operational.Town Clerk Daniel Matawu
sounded elated by Kasukuwere’s decision to suspend councilors.
“I don’t want to sound like i am celebrating their suspension , but I think they saw it coming. We will continue to provide services as
always and await the ministry’s verdict on the suspended councilors,”
Matawu told Radio VOP.
Zanu PF councilors seem to understand Kasukuwere’s gimmick saying the
decision was ‘fair’.