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Bulawayo City Council to operate without deputy mayor

by Staff Reporter
11 Sep 2022 at 09:58hrs | Views
THE Bulawayo City Council will be operating without a deputy mayor until the High Court deals with a number of applications relating to who should take over the position between councillors, Mlandu Ncube and Tinashe Kambarami.

The development comes amid revelations that Clr Ncube last Tuesday made another urgent chamber application for an interlocutory interdict pending finalisation of two other applications he made to the High Court. Mayor, Clr Solomon Mguni confirmed the decision by council to take a middle of the road approach until the matter was concluded in the courts.

"We decided as the General Purposes Committee, which is the leadership group of council; to manage the legal dispute between Clr Mlandu Ncube and Clr Tinashe Kambarami cautiously. As you may be aware, the dispute over the position of deputy mayor is pending in the High Court.

"We agreed to wait for direction from the court on the interpretation of the order reinstating Clr Kambarami, that is, whether or not his reinstatement as Ward Three councillor also extends to the position of deputy mayor and if so, what becomes of the election of Clr Ncube as deputy mayor on 7 October 2020," he said.

Wednesday's Full Council meeting saw the deputy mayor's chair being removed from the high table with both Clr Ncube and Clr Kambarami sitting with the rest of the councillors. Usually, the deputy mayor sits with the mayor and the town clerk. On Wednesday's meeting only the mayor, Clr Mguni and the acting town clerk, Mr Kimpton Ndimande were positioned at the high table.

Clr Mguni said residents and stakeholders of the city would be advised of the outcome of pending court processes, in particular the urgent chamber application.

A couple of weeks ago, Clr Ncube filed an application seeking a declaratory order and ancillary relief arguing that the court order reinstating Clr Kambarami relates only to resumption of duties as councillor for Ward Three and not to the position of deputy mayor of the City of Bulawayo in terms of the Urban Councils Act.

Bulawayo deputy mayor Councillor Mlandu Ncube

He also filed an application for correction, variation and rescission of the order reinstating Clr Kambarami. In the application, Clr Ncube pleaded with the High Court to correct, or vary or rescind the order to the extent that it purportedly orders or entitles Clr Kambarami to resume duties as deputy mayor.

In the latest High Court urgent chamber application, Clr Ncube argues that his duties as deputy mayor entail officiating at public events or attending same and also chairing various committees as deputy mayor or acting as mayor when necessary and without an interdict in place, and in light of threats by Clr Kambarami, the City of Bulawayo may be plunged into chaos and disorder, which situation is undesirable.

"I approach this court on an urgent basis because I have reasonable fear and apprehension that the Clr Kambarami and the City of Bulawayo are likely to interfere with the discharge of my obligations as the incumbent deputy mayor of the City of Bulawayo and also interfere directly with my rights as enshrined under the Urban Councils Act including but not limited to officiating at council meetings, chairing certain committees as deputy mayor or assuming the position of acting mayor as and when deemed necessary.

"Clr Kambarami has not hidden his intentions to usurp my powers as he thinks, wrongly so that I am not the deputy mayor of the City of Bulawayo and has openly objected to my acting as such. What has compounded issues necessitating this urgent chamber application for an Interdict is that Clr Kambarami has gone to the newspapers, threatening my position as sitting deputy mayor," reads the application.

Clr Ncube also argues that the local authority has further been advised by their solicitors to remove him from the office of deputy mayor and install Clr Kambarami as deputy mayor hence his fear that he could soon be disposed from the position despite his pending cases.

Source - Sunday News