D-Day looms for sus­pended Byo coun­cil­lors

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Nqobile Tshili

THE Gov­ern­ment will this week re­veal the fate of five Bu­l­awayo coun­cil­lors who were last month sus­pended on al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion.

Deputy Mayor Gift Banda, Clrs Charles Moyo (Ward Nine), Mzama Dube (Ward 25), Reuben Matengu (Ward 21) and James Sit­hole (Ward Seven) were sus­pended on Septem­ber 20 in a move aimed at weed­ing out the rot within the Bu­l­awayo City Coun­cil.

The Min­istry of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Public Works and Na­tional Hous­ing sus­pended the city fathers af­ter an au­dit es­tab­lished that some coun­cil­lors were grab­bing land, while in some in­stances ten­der pro­ce­dures were not be­ing fol­lowed.

The coun­cil­lors were set to ap­pear be­fore a tri­bunal two weeks af­ter their sus­pen­sion but that has not oc­curred.

Last Thurs­day, the Permanent Sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Public Works and Na­tional Hous­ing, En­gi­neer Ge­orge Mlilo, said the Gov­ern­ment would an­nounce its po­si­tion this week.

“We’re al­most there, I’m sure there will be some state­ment early next (this) week. We’re go­ing to give a holis­tic state­ment,” said Eng Mlilo.

The sus­pen­sions came in the wake of rev­e­la­tions that the lo­cal au­thor­ity is owed more than $500 000 in il­le­gal land deals in­volv­ing coun­cil­lors who have been ac­cu­mu­lat­ing vast tracts of land at res­i­dents’ ex­pense.

Last week, Bu­l­awayo Town Clerk Mr Christo­pher Dube said this month the mu­nic­i­pal­ity would re­spond to Gov­ern­ment cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions against the lo­cal au­thor­ity.

Mr Dube urged res­i­dents to be pa­tient and wait for due pro­cesses to be con­ducted in­stead of mak­ing con­clu­sions on mat­ters that are still be­ing in­ves­ti­gated.

His re­marks fol­low a re­cent de­ci­sion by some Zanu-PF youths to stage a de­mon­stra­tion against Clr Banda.— @ nqot­shili.

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