The High Court has ordered Chinhoyi Municipality to reinstate finance director Mr Tonderai Mukosa who had been fired for failing to disclose his past criminal conviction.
Mr Mukosa was initially stripped of all finance-related duties before being assigned to the town clerk’s pool after a local bank raised a red flag during adjudication for a loan.
He was eventually fired in August last year before approaching the High Court, arguing that his conviction and subsequent sentence of 24 months fell outside the three years imposed by the Urban Councils Act.
“Yes, I was convicted and served my sentence but that was 15 years ago when I was still a teenager. The Urban Councils Act states that someone is ineligible to hold office when they have a pending case or they have had a conviction in the past three years,” argued Mr Mukosa.
A default judgment was delivered by Justice November Mtshiya after Chinhoyi Municipality, who are cited as the second respondent with then town clerk Mr Mungororo Mazai as first respondent, failed to attend.
He now accuses council of being in contempt of court as the order has now yet been implemented.
Chinhoyi municipality is expected to bear the cost of the suit. The municipality, reportedly wants to challenge the court’s determination, with some observers viewing the move as a waste of money as the prospects for success are considered slim.
Mayor, Councillor Test Michaels confirmed the development but said council is waiting until all legal remedies are exhausted before they can take action.
“There is not much that I can say pertaining to the Mukosa case except that it is pending within the courts and we await the determination of the courts,” he said.
Mr Mukosa was discovered to be an ex-convict during an adjudication exercise of a $1,6 million loan by a local bank.
He was previously convicted of fraud and served a 24-month custodial sentence with labour.
Chinhoyi municipality had applied for a $1,6 million loan to fund capital projects and staff salaries.
Salaries are in arrears with workers at some stage threatening to down tools.herald