FORMER Bulawayo Deputy Mayor Mr Tinashe Kambarami was yesterday ejected from a full council meeting after he stormed in and demanded reinstatement.
Mr Kambarami’s election as Ward 3 councillor was nullified by High Court judge, Justice Thompson Mabhikwa following an application by 893 Mthwakazi Restoration Movement Trust, through its lawyer Mr Godfrey Nyoni of Moyo and Nyoni Legal Practitioners.
In his ruling, Justice Mabhikwa said Kambarami violated section 119 (2) (e) of the Electoral Act following his conviction of theft.
Mr Kambarami however, appealed to the Supreme Court and his case was heard by Justice Nicholas Mathonsi last Thursday who found that the High Court had erred in nullifying his election.
Mr Kambarami was last year in September recalled – together with seven other councillors by MDC-T – thereby nullifying his election as councillor.
Following last Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling, Mr Kambarami attempted to attend the full council meeting yesterday but was removed as council does not recognise him as a councillor.
Video footage showing five council security guards removing Kambarami from the meeting went viral yesterday.
In the video, someone is overheard saying that “You don’t run the council like a tuck-shop.”
In an interview following the fracas, Bulawayo Mayor councillor Solomon Mguni said Mr Kambarami should have followed the legal route as opposed to ambushing council by attending a meeting unannounced.
“He ambushed the council and just sat at the Council Chambers without the council having been formally served with the Supreme Court judgement. Some of us read the judgement through the media so we could not take a decision based on that. He only brought a letter to the attention of the Chamber Secretary (Mrs Sikhangele Zhou) to say he has been reinstated and is coming to council. We were not served with the judgement and we must take a legal opinion before allowing him to sit in meetings,” said Clr Mguni.
“That is why we said to him you have an argument but this is a legal argument that you better place before a Court of law or also after we are given our position by our legal practitioners. We could not have resolved that position in the Chamber. That is why we had said to him wait for us to finish the meeting and then we can talk about your position but at first serve us formally with the judgement of the Court. So, we are waiting to be served so that we can take a legal action.”
He said council also took note that Mr Kambarami was recalled from serving in the local authority by his party.
“His recall was communicated to council by the Minister (of Local Government and Public Works July Moyo). Hence, we will wait for the court judgement and also direction from the minister. He claims that his recall is now null and void,” he said.
Contacted for comment Mr Kambarami said he does not recognise the recall as he was recalled by MDC-T yet he belongs to the MDC-Alliance.
“The person who wrote the letter to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works saying that I’m recalling Kambarami, the whole process is a non-event because I was not a councillor. I only became a councillor last week when I was reinstated by the Supreme Court. So, all these things that happened were not legal because my issue was pending before the Supreme Court,” said Mr Kambarami.
Quizzed why he was embarrassingly removed from Council Chambers; he said his issue is now political and personal.
“It looks like it’s getting personal because the Supreme Court judgment is straightforward, it does not need any other interpretation. Even a Grade 7 pupil can understand. It’s political and personal. There are politicians there from MDC-T, MDC-Alliance and Zanu-PF,” he said.