Mayor, town clerk arrested

Clr Kombayi

Clr Kombayi

Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
POLICE in Gweru have arrested suspended Gweru mayor Councillor Hamutendi Kombayi and town clerk Mr Daniel Matawu over allegations of theft, fraud and criminal abuse of office involving a total of $185 000.

The money also includes MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s hotel bills during various visits to the city.

Acting Midlands Province police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende confirmed the arrest, saying the two were assisting with investigations while in police custody.

The two were arrested yesterday at around midday for allegedly abusing council funds and funding Mr Tsvangirai’s private visits to the Midlands capital at the expense of service delivery.

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“I can confirm that we (police) have arrested suspended Gweru mayor Hamutendi Kombayi and town clerk Daniel Matawu this afternoon (yesterday). We are preferring charges of theft, fraud and criminal abuse of office against the two.

“These allegations arose from the special audit that was carried at the council. I will furnish you with any relevant details pertaining to the matter once the investigations are completed. The two are still in police custody assisting with investigations. They will appear in court soon,” she said.

Thse rot was unearthed in an audit report compiled by an investigating team which was sent by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing following a series of demonstrations and industrial action by council workers after they went for close to six months without being paid.

Following the report, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere instructed the commission to put to task any corrupt official or any official implicated for any wrongdoing in the report.

Minister Kasukuwere said the commission should, as a matter of urgency, wield the axe on all directors implicated in the audit report for fraud, embezzlement and misappropriation of funds, wasteful expenditure, non-compliance with ministerial directives, non-compliance with statutory laws and failing to manage council’s assets.

He said the main thrust for any local authority should be service delivery and not unnecessary expenditure by either council or management.

This subsequently led to the suspension of Mr Matawu after it emerged that he had failed to execute his duties as an accounting officer and unlawfully authorised the release of money at the expense of service delivery.

Clr Kombayi and 11 other MDC-T councillors were suspended by Minister Kasukuwere on allegations of corruption, incompetence and abuse of council resources in August 2015.

Following his suspension, Clr Kombayi was in the eye of a storm after he held onto the livery collar (mayoral gold chain) and a council vehicle.

He was later ordered to return the vehicle and mayoral regalia by the High Court.


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  • Maisvoreva

    Cont’d from above

    Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo THEN ordered the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Saviour Kasukuwere to reinstate immediately suspended Gweru Mayor Hamutendi Kombayi and 10 councillors.

    The basis of the ruling was that the section of the Urban Councils Act used to suspend the councillors contravened the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

  • Hacha Duke of Enkeldoorn

    I wish Government would show the same zeal and prosecute other well known people who have corruptly amassed wealth – especially those currently serving in government. We all know their names and what they did.

  • Elton

    Zvichienda nekuti wabuda mumba maani, Simba rehove rinoda kuenzaniswa

  • Francis

    So they can steal with impunity? I fail to understand your reasoning (or lack of it).

    • Tarubva

      First, what happened to those who stole $15 b from Marange with “impunity”? Second, see the bigger picture; the minister was ordered by the High Court to reinstate these people, and up to now he is coiling! Its a no brainer, he is trying by all means to wriggle out of the High Court order! Last, if you believe that council money was used to pay Tsvangirai’s hotel bill, then I really have to stop debating with you right now!

  • Transparency

    Such selective ruling by the Minister, he hurriedly suspends Councillors and call for their arrested simply because employees had staged numerous industrial action as had gone for 6 months without pay; Cde Minister have ever looked at Chitungwiza where employees have +20 months in arrears?
    * How many industrial actions have been staged with you and your predecessor blocking them.
    * While you were the Minister of Environment you promised to prosecute all involved in illegal land parcelling but with you now in office that very rot has trippled while you turn a blind eye.

    What a hypocrite, Chitungwiza is a few kilos from your office but fail to at least give an eye while you rush to Mutare and Gweru.

  • Jamba mu zimbabwe

    The days of unending criticism of opposition parties alleged corruption and paying lip service to cronies of the ruling party are gone. Can any one point a single minister or permanent secretary who has ever been arrested let alone locked up whilst investigations are going on. We have permanent secretaries who are being investigated for corruption continuing in office as if nothing is happening.

  • village 1

    Ko Gibson Chingwaza asara sei? Have you seen his cars? Mari yacho inobva kupi?

  • Matsimba

    Biased, selective justice is injustice…That’s why Africans are fighting that creature called International Criminal Court.