Hearing day for ‘corrupt’ city fathers
TWO suspended Bulawayo councillors are set to go for a hearing tomorrow as the Government has set up a tribunal to investigate corruption allegations levelled against them.
Deputy Mayor Gift Banda and Councillor Reuben Matengu are due to appear before the threemember tribunal.
The two were suspended together with Clrs Charles Moyo (Ward Nine), Mzama Dube (Ward 25) and James Sithole (Ward Seven) but the trio’s suspensions were lifted after investigators failed to find incriminating evidence against them.
Yesterday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Engineer George Mlilo, said the Government cannot determine the period that will be taken by the tribunal to investigate the case.
“Yes, the tribunal has been set. It has three members who will meet and decide when to start their programme. We can’t tell them when to meet,” said Eng Mlilo.
He declined to reveal their names, saying they might be victimised.
“Why do you want their names? People might be threatened afterwards if we release their names. What you only need to know is that a tribunal has been set,” he said.
A source in the council said one of the members of the tribunal was a lawyer and they will start their investigations from tomorrow.
“I wouldn’t want to say much but the tribunal must be sitting starting from Wednesday,” said the source.
The councillors were suspended recently on allegations that they allocated themselves large tracts of land without following the right procedures.
They are also accused of acquiring the land at below market prices and now collectively owe the local authority more than $500 000.
The Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association raised concerns over the land grabbing by the councillors and the Government took action. — @ nqotshili