Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
Government has appointed top lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu to chair a three-member tribunal set up to probe three Harare councillors over allegations of cheating in a $31 million tender. Councillors Urayayi Mangwiro, Paula Macharangwanda and Wilton Janjazi were suspended in June this year by Local Government, Rural Development and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere over a series of misconduct charges involving cheating in a tender. Minister Kasukuwere appointed Adv Mpofu chairman of the tribunal in terms of the Urban Councils Act.
“Pursuant to the suspension of councillors U Mangwiro, P Macharangwanda and V Njanjazi of City of Harare in terms of Section 114(1) (c) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) as amended by Section 3 of the Local Government Laws Amendment Act Number 8 of 2016, I hereby appoint you as chairperson of a tribunal to inquire into the allegations levelled against the councillors. . .”
The other two members of the tribunal are T Nyamunda and Mrs P Nyengwa. Charges against the councillors arose in 2010, when the three, who sat in the procurement board awarded a shadowy company, Energy Resources Africa Consortium (ARAC), a contract to rehabilitate Firle and Crowborough sewer treatment plants without going to tender.
They are also facing charges of coming up with an unpriced bill of quantities for the rehabilitation works and neglecting to request the bidder to submit the required documents in breach of the provisions of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter29:15). The trio is also appearing at Harare magistrates’ courts facing criminal abuse of office charges. The tribunal hearing is expected to commence this month.