Chombo off the hook

Ignatius Chombo

FORMER Gwanda mayor Lionel De Necker, who was suspended by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo last year for allegedly refusing to appoint Priscilla Nkala as chamber secretary, has dropped the court bid challenging his suspension.

Richard Muponde
Senior Courte Reporter

In an interview with Southern Eye from his base in Gwanda yesterday, De Necker said the court challenge was now water under the bridge.
“The issue has been overtaken by events.

“In a nutshell, I won’t be pursuing the matter. “It’s now water under the bridge,” he said.

Chombo and De Necker were embroiled in a legal battle for a year after the minister suspended him as punishment for allegedly refusing to swear in Nkala, a reported Zanu PF sympathiser, as chamber secretary.

The matter was still pending in the courts awaiting a hearing date.

Chombo had also tried twice to bring De Necker before a disciplinary hearing, but failed after the High Court barred him from taking that action.

Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha interdicted Chombo from convening De Necker’s hearing in November last year until the court had heard a case in which the former mayor was challenging the validity of his suspension.

Nkala was subsequently appointed as chamber secretary after a commission appointed by Chombo to run the affairs of Gwanda rubber-stamped his directive to unilaterally appoint her to the position.

The then MDC-dominated municipality refused to appoint Nkala over her alleged allegiance to Zanu PF after the Local Government Board had recommended her for the position in November 2011.

Zanu PF now controls Gwanda Municipality after MDC and MDC-T performed dismally in the July 31 elections.