Sus­pended Gweru mayor ap­pears in court

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pa­tience Mut­siwi

SUS­PENDED Gweru Mayor Ha­mu­tendi Kom­bayi has ap­peared in court for send­ing in­sult­ing mes­sages through the phone to the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Pub­lic Works and Na­tional Hous­ing En­gi­neer Ge­orge Mlilo.

Kom­bayi (39) of Kopje sub­urb in Gweru ap­peared be­fore Pro­vin­cial Mag­is­trate Mrs Pathekhile Msipa fac­ing charges of send­ing threat­en­ing mes­sages by tele­phone.

Through his lawyer Mr Regi­nald Chi­dawanyika, Kom­bayi made an ap­pli­ca­tion for re­fer­ral to the Con­sti­tu­tional Court say­ing the charge vi­o­lated his con­sti­tu­tional rights.

“The mes­sages that I sent to him were not threat­en­ing but ex­pressed the mood I was in,” he said. Pros­e­cut­ing, Mrs He­len Khosa told the court that on De­cem­ber 24 last year, Kom­bayi sent mes­sages which were grossly of­fen­sive and threat­en­ing to En­gi­neer Mlilo.

One of the mes­sages read: “I will fight you, the war be­gins in 2016. To hell, you are a thief... I have proof and you are a fool that does not have a di­ploma.”

It is the State’s case that the fol­low­ing day, Kom­bayi sent an­other mes­sage threat­en­ing the com­plainant.

“Au­dit tells you the prob­lem, you de­cide. A sui­cide bomb will blast you,” it read.

Last year, the Gov­ern­ment in­def­i­nitely sus­pended Kom­bayi and 10 other coun­cil­lors on al­le­ga­tions of gross mis­con­duct, in­com­pe­tence and mis­man­age­ment of coun­cil funds and af­fairs.

The Bu­l­awayo High Court ear­lier this year or­dered that the coun­cil­lors must be re­in­stated on the ba­sis that a sec­tion of the Ur­ban Coun­cils Act used to sus­pend the coun­cil­lors con­tra­vened the Con­sti­tu­tion of Zim­babwe.

The Gov­ern­ment sub­se­quently ap­pealed against the rul­ing. — @patiemt­siwi

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