Hear­ing day for ‘cor­rupt’ city fa­thers

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Nqo­bile Tshili

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

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