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Umguza CEO, councillors suspended

by Staff reporter
25 Jul 2021 at 08:03hrs | Views
THE Government has once again suspended Umguza Rural District Council (RDC) chief executive officer, Mr Collen Moyo and five councillors including its chairperson, Councillor Alexandra Gasela.

Mr Moyo was initially suspended by Government in April following an inquiry that recommended his suspension pending further investigations on allegations of corruption at the institution. The suspension was, however, reversed by the council's disciplinary committee, which was headed by the deputy chairperson, Clr Sisa Moyo, who claimed they had found him not guilty on all the alleged crimes.

However, in the latest development, the Government last Friday reinstated Mr Moyo's suspension and also suspended the entire four member disciplinary committee and the council chairperson. The disciplinary committee is made up of Clrs Mary Shelton, David Moyo, Ernest Sibanda and Moyo who was the committee chairperson. Clr Johannes Sibanda has been appointed the acting council chairperson.

Confirming the suspensions, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Marian Chombo, who served the suspension papers last Friday said the ministry will continue to deal decisively with councils which are bent on abuse of office, corruption, those who deliberately choose not to release important information to investigators in an effort to obstruct the course of justice including those who deliberately ill-treat and disrespect their clients against the Council's reason for establishment.

She said the Ministry will be back at the RDC in the next two weeks to observe whether the local authority was putting into effect recommendations that were made by the Ministerial Commission of Inquiry and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc).

"If council chooses not to deal with errant officials as they should do, they would have abrogated their responsibility.

Then we move in and deal with them and protect the innocent ratepayers. Both Zacc and the ministry will institute further investigations to assist councillors to unravel the level of misdemeanors. We will monitor the activities at Umguza RDC on a daily basis to make sure management and council operations are sanitised and continue to protect ratepayers," said Deputy Minister Chombo.

The Deputy Minister further revealed that Mr Moyo attempted to resist the adoption of the resolution to suspend him by councillors however, to no avail.

"Tactfully, we left them to resolve to adopt the presentation in our absence so that there is no accusation of coercion on councillors. The CEO was now resisting the adoption however, the councillors proceeded and resolved to enact the suspensions," said the Deputy Minister.

Contacted for comment, the acting chairperson, Clr Sibanda while confirming the suspensions said he could only give full details on Monday (tomorrow). Clr Gasela confirmed the suspension saying they were going to abide by it and cooperate with any investigation ordered by the Government.

"Yes we were suspended over the CEO issue, we now await the said investigation which we will cooperate with fully," said the former council chairperson.

The investigation, which led to Mr Moyo's suspension was mainly focused on the alleged allocation and repossession of agri-plots in Montgomery with people reportedly paying up to US$1 000 as bribes so as to get the plots.

The plots are also sold in foreign currency by the council. At one time aggrieved individuals staged a demonstration at the RDC's offices demanding the arrest of the CEO on corruption allegations.

Source - sundaynews

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