Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
GOVERNMENT has suspended Gweru Mayor Mr Hamutendi Kombayi and all councillors with immediate effect and will soon appoint a team to run the municipality pending finalisation of investigations into poor corporate governance.
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Savior Kasukuwere said a tribunal would soon be established to enquire into the allegations and make necessary recommendations.
Minister Kasukuwere said this while addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday.
“We sent a team to investigate the goings on and the report points to a very sad state of affairs in the City of Gweru. In terms of the law, the first thing that we do is to suspend and we are appointing a tribunal which will now investigate the alleged offences. Those who will be exonerated will be exonerated and those found guilty will be dealt with accordingly,” said Minister Kasukuwere.
He said corporate governance systems in the city had virtually collapsed.
“The City of Gweru has gone off rail. We cannot allow a situation at the end of the day where a council is run by an enhancement committee when there is a properly elected council. Once a council gets to a stage when it becomes uncontrollable and is run like some club without rules, that becomes cause for concern,” said Minister Kasukuwere.
“We want to see sanity being restored in Gweru. We want to see good corporate management. We are not going to stand idle and watch as the situation deteriorates. We will take pre-emptive action.”
He said the decision to suspend Gweru councillors and the mayor was not politically motivated as Government had done the same in zanu-pf run rural councils.
“It is not only Gweru, we have also gone to dismiss some councillors in the countryside. One of them is a zanu-pf councillor in Murehwa who was accused of embezzling council funds to the tune of $5 597. So I want to be clear, it is not political. We will deal with those who fail to uphold their responsibilities irrespective of their political party or persuasion or otherwise. We are going to appoint a team that will look after the affairs of the City of Gweru,” said Minister Kasukuwere.
On water disconnections being carried out in Harare, Minister Kasukuwere urged residents and city fathers to play their part.
He said residents should pay for service to enable city fathers to provide water while the city fathers should exercise caution.
Minister Kasukuwere said there was need for a win-win situation.