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Mayor fighting political wars, claims divisive Kambarami

by Staff reporter
21 Aug 2022 at 08:44hrs | Views
CONFUSION reigns supreme in the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) following a recent High Court judgement that ordered the reinstatement of former deputy mayor, Mr Tinashe Kambarami amid revelations that town clerk, Mr Christopher Dube had to cancel an abruptly convened special council meeting meant to discuss the matter as the meeting was called without the mayor's consent.

According to the Urban Councils Act, a special council meeting can only be called through the mayor.

Section 84.3 of the Act reads: "The Mayor may at any time and at the request in writing of not less than one third of the total membership of the council or of six councillors whichever is the less shall within 14 days of such request call for a special meeting of the council.

The special council meeting shall be held at such time and place as the mayor may determine."

The High Court recently ruled in Mr Kambarami's favour in a case where he was challenging his recall by MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora.

Mr Kambarami had initially been recalled after Justice Thompson Mabhikwa nullified his election as a ward councillor in a case where 1893 Mthwakazi Restoration Movement Trust was seeking an order nullifying his election citing his criminal record.

The reinstated councillor later won an appeal against his criminal case. He was later recalled by the MDC-T while he was serving his initial nullification order which he appealed against and won.

In his judgement, High Court Judge Justice Martin Makonese ruled that the letter to recall Clr Kambarami by the MDC-T was null and void as he was not a councillor by the time it was written.

In the latest developments, it is alleged, the Chamber Secretary, Mrs Sikhangele Zhou flouted council regulations in convening a special council meeting to discuss the High Court order, where according to the Urban Councils Act, any special council meeting should be called through the mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni, with councillors given a 24-hour notice.

According to councillors, the notice was sent on Wednesday at 7.06pm with the meeting scheduled for Thursday at 12pm.

Mr Dube later sent a message directing the cancellation of the meeting, after the anomaly was noted.

"Please be advised that the special council schedule for today 11.08.2022 has been cancelled. Any inconvenience caused is regretted. Thank you," reads the notice by the town clerk.

Contacted for comment, Clr Mguni referred all questions to Mr Dube who confirmed that they had to cancel the special council meeting after they failed to communicate with Clr Mguni.

"We made the mistake of not informing the mayor about the intentions of calling the meeting, it was later discovered that he was not around, he was actually in Plumtree on the said day. As it stands the meeting will now be held at a later date probably this coming week, councillors will be informed following the necessary processes," said the town clerk.

Impeccable council sources revealed the matter will now be discussed at the full council meeting on 7 September, with the item set to first be deliberated by the General Purposes council meeting.

"We will wait for the ordinary meeting of 7 September unless councillors earlier request for a special meeting in terms of the law, where still the mayor has 14 days to call the special council. Even the affected parties; even Deputy Mayor Mlandu Ncube hasn't been allowed time to seek for his own independent legal opinion from his own lawyers. What happened is that the meeting, had it gone ahead, was going to be a political fight for relevance between factions," said the source.

Source - The Sunday News
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