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Kasukuwere ordered to reinstate Bulawayo Deputy Mayor Gift Banda

by Staff Reporter
25 Aug 2017 at 06:40hrs | Views
THE High Court yesterday ordered Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere to reinstate former Bulawayo deputy mayor Mr Gift Banda saying the decision to fire him was unreasonable.

The ruling by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese follows an application by Mr Banda challenging his dismissal and seeking an order nullifying the decision of the independent tribunal which found him guilty of misconduct.

The axed deputy mayor also wanted the court to reinstate him to his council positions.

Justice Makonese ruled that the decision of the tribunal was not grounded on any facts on the record of proceedings and the Minister relied on misrepresentations to fire the deputy mayor.

"It is therefore clear that the decision of the tribunal was not based on any sound legal basis. Such a decision is grossly irregular and unreasonable," said the judge.

Mr Banda was in February this year fired from council by Minister Kasukuwere together with Ward 21 Councillor Reuben Matengu after they appeared before the independent tribunal for alleged gross misconduct and mismanagement.

In papers before the court, Mr Banda, who was represented by Mr Kholwani Ngwenya of TJ Mabhikwa and Partners, cited Minister Kasukuwere, the Bulawayo City Council, the independent tribunal and its members Advocate Hilda Makusha Moyo, Midard Khumalo and Lucy Manhokwe as respondents.

Justice Makonese said the allegations against Mr Banda were based on personal conflicts with certain sections of society.

"There appears to have been an element of mala fides on those that misrepresented the facts to the Minister. The tribunal could not find any evidence to come to the conclusion that the applicant was guilty of gross misconduct," he said.

Justice Makonese set aside the decision of the tribunal and ordered the reinstatement of Mr Banda.

"Accordingly, I am satisfied that the applicant is entitled to the relief sought. It is therefore ordered that he be and is hereby reinstated as councillor for Ward 5 in Bulawayo and deputy mayor of Bulawayo city with no loss of allowances and benefits," ruled the judge.

Mr Banda was relieved of his duties after he was found guilty of unprocedurally getting a lease for the construction of a social club at Hume Park but was exonerated on the purchase of a piece of land at Ascot race course for the construction of town houses.

In his founding affidavit, Mr Banda said the tribunal erred when it found him guilty of gross misconduct, arguing that its decision was premised on irregular and unreasonable findings.

"The basis of this application is that the decision of the first respondent (independent) finding me guilty of an act of gross misconduct in the acquisition of lease by Entertainment Headquarters is grossly irregular and unreasonable. It is premised on the independent tribunal's grossly irregular and unreasonable finding that by co-signing the application for a lease by Entertainment Headquarters I wanted to influence the decision on the application yet council did not approve or grant the application, which I had co-signed," he said.

Mr Banda said he co-signed an application for lease for Entertainment Headquarters in respect of the construction of a social club situated between 2nd and 4th Avenue along Samuel Parirenyatwa Street in Bulawayo. He said the application was unsuccessful.

He said there was no evidence that he tried to influence the process.

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