Local government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere says he suspended all the 25 Chitungwiza municipal councillors to keep the council running while disciplinary measures were being taken against errant councillors.
He gave at least 13 reasons why the councillors were suspended including rampant abuse of stateland and abuse of travel allowances which shot up from the stipulated $95 000 to $300 000.
Below is the full statement he gave to Parliament yesterday.
SUSPENSION OF CHITUNGWIZA MUNICIPALITY COUNCILLORS
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): Mr. Speaker, I wish to make a Ministerial Statement to Parliament on the suspension of Chitungwiza Municipality Councillors.
The Chitungwiza Municipal Councillors have been suspended from office in terms of Section 114 of the urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15], [as read with the Local Government Laws Amendment Act]. This has been necessitated by the continued high levels of maladministration, non-compliance with laid down procedures and practices and corrupt practices by the Councillors.
Twenty-four of the twenty-five Councillors have been served with letters of suspension, in terms of section 114(2)(b) of the Urban Councils Act. The suspended Councillors have all been afforded the opportunity to defend themselves and were asked to respond to the charges in writing, within seven days. Thereafter, the responses will be studied and suspensions will be uplifted for Councillors who are not guilty of the charges. However, where no sound argument against the allegations is proffered the case/s will be referred to an Independent Tribunal appointed in terms of Section 157A of the Act. The Independent Tribunal will hear the matter in order to establish whether or not the accused Councillors are guilty of gross misconduct or willful violation of the law and give a determination as prescribed in the Fourth Schedule of the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15].
Chitungwiza Municipality has twenty-five Councillors, fourteen from MDC-T and eleven from ZANU-PF. The Municipality has been marred by administrative and political problems for a number of years. The Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing tried a number of interventions aimed at resolving the challenges bedeviling the Council but Chitungwiza Municipality did not listen and chose to continue with its destructive path at the expense of service delivery.
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