Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo has suspended three MDC-T councillors in Gweru on allegations of abuse of office and council property.
BY Stephen Chadenga/Ivan Ndlovu
The suspended councillors are Albert Chirau (ward 11), Kenneth Sithole (ward 4) and Moses Marecha (ward 5).
Chirau is also finance committee chairperson, Marecha leads the audit and manpower committee while Sithole is the only councillor returned from the previous council.
“Following receipt of allegations of abuse of office and council property by yourself, I am in terms of section 114 (1) of the Urban Councils Act Chapter 29:15, suspending you as councillor… with immediate effect. I will shortly appoint an investigation team to look into the allegations and advise you accordingly,” reads part of Chombo’s letter.
Sithole confirmed receiving the letter of suspension from Chombo on Thursday.
“It’s true I received a letter of suspension from Chombo on allegations of abuse of office and municipal property,” he said.
The suspensions have drawn the ire of MDC-T with the party’s Midlands South provincial spokesperson, Munyaradzi Mutandavari, describing the move as politically motivated and a ploy by Zanu PF to target MDC-T-dominated councils.
“This does not come to us a surprise since of late (Zanu PF commissar Saviour) Kasukuwere has been saying they now want to target MDC-T-controlled urban councils,” Mutandavari said.
“What is disturbing is that these are the guys we were ranking top of the list and so they have targeted the true faces of the MDC.
“Definitely Zanu PF wants to reduce the number of MDC councillors taking advantage of the no reforms, no elections stance.”
Kasukuwere, last week warned that the ruling party was targeting MDC-T-dominated councils over poor service delivery.