MDC councillors in bid to oust Mayor

Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni
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THE MDC Alliance has resolved to investigate corruption allegations against Bulawayo Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube while city Mayor Councillor Solomon Mguni reportedly survived an ouster bid by councillors who want to take full control of council operations.

On Thursday, the MDC Alliance summoned its councillors to a meeting in Harare to deliberate on the chaos and alleged corruption at City Hall.

Twenty-two of the 28 MDC Alliance councillors attended the meeting which was chaired by the party’s secretary for Local Government Mr Clifford Hlatshwayo.

In an interview yesterday, Mr Hlatshwayo said the party resolved that corruption charges levelled against the Town Clerk should be investigated hence the councillors would set up a special investigating committee.

“What we have said is that there could not have been smoke without fire.

There could have been smoke somewhere. So we recommended that council institute a special committee to investigate the case as provided by Section 100 of the Urban Councils Act.

So they are going to institute a special committee of investigation on the allegations of corruption, maladministration, the allegations of failing to execute his mandate and that committee will then inform council on the way forward.

But at the moment he should continue executing his duties,” said Mr Hlatshwayo.

He said this time around, councillors should conduct their investigations procedurally in accordance with the Urban Councils Act.

Mr Hlatshwayo said they cannot determine when the committee would be set up and how long it would take to execute its mandate.

He said the MDC Alliance would also not sanction deputy mayor Tinashe Kambarami and his sidekick Clr Silas Chigora for violently ejecting Mr Dube’s from his office.

“That is internal, that is political. What we are focusing on is something that hinders service delivery.

What we want is to ensure that there is efficiency in service delivery,” Mr Hlatshwayo said.

Party sources said during the meeting held at the MDC headquarters at Harvest House, some of the councillors were pushing for the expulsion of the Mayor Clr Mguni.

“They were claiming that the Mayor undermined the authority of the acting Mayor Kambarami hence the party should expel him.

But there were some serious objections from other councillors and that matter was put to rest,” said one of the councillors who attended the meeting.

Mr Hlatshwayo however, dismissed the claims saying the MDC Alliance has confidence in Clr Mguni’s leadership.

Chaos erupted in Bulawayo last Thursday as Clr Kambarami and Clr Chigora sought to unprocedurally suspend Mr Dube from office.

After forcibly removing the Town Clerk from office, the deputy mayor locked the doors and Mr Dube only had access to his work station on Monday after the local authority had engaged the services of a locksmith.

The tiff between the Town Clerk and some councillors allegedly started after he resisted their moves to interfere with council management operations.

The councillors are said to be angry that the Town Clerk has refused to involve them in the distribution of the $5 million ward retention fund as well as the allocation of stands and premises. —