Suspended Gweru Councillors Vow To Defy Kasukuwere

By Mark Mhukayesango

GWERU, October 7, 2015 -A group of suspended Gweru Councillors have vowed to resume work in
defiance of  Minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s challenge of the High Court
ruling to reinstate Mayor Hamutendi Kombayi and 10 other councillors.
Gweru Town House is currently being run by former Masvingo Town Clerk
Tsunga Mhangami , but irate councillors have threatened to make
council ungovernable if they are not reinstated.
Mhangami scoffed at media reports ,saying the Judge never ordered the
lifting of the suspensions, but the tribunal to stop its work.
“Surely journalism has gone to the dogs, the judge never said what is
being reported. So you actually came to check whether I was still in
this office? chuckled Mhangami.
Disposed councillors breathed a sigh of relief when High Court
Judge,Justice Nokuthula Moyo declared their suspension null and void,
adding that Kasukuwere had no right according to the New Constitution
to suspend councillors.
Kasukuwere who used Urban Councils Acts argues that since the New
Constitution has not yet been aligned with current laws, the
councillors remain suspended.
But a local lawyer said Kasukuwere was right to defy the court as the
Urban Councils Act was still valid as it has not yet been aligned.
“Constitutional law experts would tell you that there is a wide array
of laws which are still effective even after the adoption of the new
constitution. So Kasukuwere is justified to defy the ruling on that
basis,” the lawyer said.
Councillors who spoke to Radio VOP said they will go back to work in
spite of Kasukuwere’s malicious order.
“We will follow what the judge said and it is only prudent that we go
back to serving our people,” MDC-T councillor said.
“What Kasukuwere is doing is wrong because he wants to defeat the
course of justice so we cannot continue to let Zanu (PF) trample down
the rule of law,” he said.
Another councillor Tawanda Magidi said Gweru had suffered from the
suspensions as service delivery had plummeted since the appointment of
the commission.
“Gweru standards of service delivery has declined since our
suspensions. Our wards are not developing at all, surely Zanu PF has
successfully run down a prosperous council,” said Magidi who allegedly
pocketed huge sums of money in allowances during his tenure at
Mayor Kombayi and 16 other councillors from Zanu (PF) and MDC-T were suspended in August on
allegations of abuse of public office, misappropriation of funds among
other allegations.
The councillors filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court
arguing that the suspensions were not done overboard and won the case
last week.
Speaking to Radio VOP , Kombayi said Kasukuwere’s defiance of the law
will not stop them from fighting to get back to office.
“We will go back to Town House until Kasukuwere acknowledges that the
suspensions were flawed.”
He said the MDC-T would endeavour to clean up the mess created by
Mhangami and the entire management.
“Since we left , there has been chaos at council so cleaning up the
mess is our first port of call,” Kombayi said.
Following the suspensions, Gweru cut salaries across the board, a move
that grossly affected the lower grades since they already earn less.
Workers’ committee is currently battling to reverse the decision,
whilst service delivery had been affected by poor management.