Tsholotsho CEO saga takes new twist
THE suspension of the Tsholotsho Rural District Council chief executive officer, Mr Themba Moyo, has taken a new twist with allegations that he is viewed as a stumbling block to a company angling to take control of concessions in a district endowed with a plethora of natural resources.
According to some Government officials based in Tsholotsho who requested anonymity, Mr Moyo was caught up in a fight over the control of concessions by two companies, Lodzi Hunters and Matupula Hunters.
“Mr Moyo is a victim of circumstances and is not the only one targeted by a cartel that is moving in to capture the council, that cartel includes some of the councillors. In fact the cartel is targeting other four senior workers as well who it views as the stumbling block in its evil machinations,” said the official.
“What happened is that the previous council resolved to extend the concession for Matupula Hunters for the next five years because of what the company has been doing for the people of Tsholotsho District. However, the new council has decided that they re-tender the concession. They want to rescind the decision of the previous council and go for re-tender and the suspicion is that they want another company to take over the concession from Matupula.”
The official said on the day Mr Moyo was suspended there were wild celebrations at the growth point at the premises of a local businessman (name supplied) and in attendance were some councillors and a council official who overnight has become rich, two chiefs and workers from a hunting company.
Tsholotsho Ward 11 Councillor Patrick Ngwenya said the suspension was unlawful.
Some of the accusations against Mr Moyo are that he caused a bank account in the name of Tsholotsho RDC Stadium to be opened at CBZ without obtaining a council resolution and the account had signatories who were not employees of Tsholotsho RDC in violation of standing rules and regulations governing public funds or accounts. The construction of the stadium was led by former Cabinet Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo who is now in selfexile.
“The CEO was suspended unlawfully, on the issue of opening a bank account during the talk of the construction of the stadium, he was acting under the orders of abadala (elders) and he could not defy the orders of senior Government officials. In fact how can he be fired during a full council meeting like it was a deliberate ploy to attack him in front of all those people? He should have been served in private with his suspension letter,” said Clr Ngwenya.
“The same people who were working in council and were pro-Professor Moyo are the same people who have orchestrated the CEO’s removal as they want to benefit. The CEO could not oppose the Professor during that time, he made a stadium committee that was supposed to oversee the construction of the Tsholotsho Stadium but this was disbanded by the Professor who made his own committee that was paid by council but made up of outsiders.”
Another councillor, Gedion Ndlovu of Ward 20 described the whole issue as an emotional decision.
“Tempers won over reasoning, there was no resolution over what happened to the CEO, people used emotions, the whole thing was not exhausted. I’m not saying he should not have been suspended, but as a council we never exhausted the issue,” said Clr Ndlovu.
Efforts to get a comment from Mr Moyo were fruitless but council chairperson, Councillor Esau Siwela maintained that the suspension of the CEO had nothing to do with hunting concessions.
“To say that Mr Themba Moyo was suspended because Lodzi wanted to remove Matupula is a lie that is being peddled by people who support the wrong thing. The issues are not related, all we want as councillors is for people to be awarded tenders through following proper procedures and Matupula was also supposed to go to tender. In fact the investigation was a directive from the Ministry of Local Government. The CEO was suspended, not fired, pending investigations on allegations of abuse of office,” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from the hunting companies in the area were fruitless.