Wednesday, 9 August 2017

EX BOSS HANGS ONTO RUSAPE COUNCIL VEHICLE

RUSAPE Town Council has resolved to approach the High Court to recover a vehicle and money it erroneously awarded to former secretary Mr Joshua Maligwa as part of his terminal benefits.

Mr Maligwa left Rusape Town Council to join Mutare City Council in April. He is now Mutare City Council town clerk.

The benefits which were awarded to Mr Maligwa were reversed by the Local Government Board. This was after the board noted that Mr Maligwa was not entitled to a hefty package, since he left employment on his own volition.

He was only awarded a cellphone and laptop. It was also noted that Mr Maligwa violated the tenets of good corporate governance by sitting and participating in the special full council meeting that deliberated and came up with his benefits.

Council accuses Mr Maligwa of withholding key information pertaining to his benefits during the special full council meeting. Armed with the Local Government Board resolution, Rusape wrote to Mr Maligwa demanding the return of the car and cash.

Mr Maligwa has refused to do so. In a no-holds-barred and highly-charged full council meeting last week, councillors agreed that Mr Maligwa was taking the local authority for granted.

They also accused him of not responding to letters written to him by Rusape Town 
Council. The councillors also ganged up against town chairman, Alderman Amon Chawasarira, accusing him of taking sides with Mr Maligwa.

The councillors labelled Ald Chawasarira an unreliable leader who was reluctant to sign a letter meant to be delivered to Mr Maligwa.

“I do not know why the car and our money have not been returned as instructed by the ministry. In the first place, why did we allow him to go with the car and give him the money without the approval of the ministry?

“If the chairman is finding it difficult to get back the vehicle and our money, then let us the nine councillors go to Mutare and repossess our car from Maligwa,” charged Ward 1 councillor, Patrick Chipere.

“The car and money are ours. Maligwa is defying a lawful instruction from the ministry, so why can’t we write back to them notifying that he is defying their instruction? There is a Deputy Sheriff in Mutare, let us engage him so that he attaches our vehicle and bring it here tomorrow. Council operations must not stop because the chairman is hesitant to do his job,” said Ward 4 councillor, Bernard Chikomo.

“Why is the chairman not giving us feedback on the Maligwa issue? We are tired of town secretaries who come here and loot from this council. Rusape is not a feeding trough. How do we councillors motivate residents to pay rates when we fail a simple task of repossessing our property and money? That car was bought using funds from residents and it cannot just go like that especially when there is a ministerial directive that it is our lawful property.

“I second the hiring of the Deputy Sheriff. We should not be remembered as councillors who let the council property being stolen under our watch. We were voted to represent and protect the interests of residents and ratepayers of this town. It is cases like this where our resolve, loyalty and competence must be shown,” chipped in Ward 5 councillor, Lyton Sithole.

Ald Chawasarira explained that just like any resident of Rusape, he wanted Mr Maligwa to return the car and money as ordered by the ministry. He said failure by council to repossess the car and money would result in ratepayers losing confidence in the council.

“Everyone wants the car and money as soon yesterday. Mind you, we are simply implementing what the ministry has instructed us to do. No-one has the capacity to defy that directive. I am on your side (councillors).

“It is not good for people to speculate that so and so is not on the same page with others. Decisions made by the full council are binding, whether one agrees or not or whether one was absent or not. We do not want residents to lose confidence in their council,” explained Ald Chawasarira.

Rusape Town Council lawyer, Mr Maxwell Chiwanza, who was invited to the full council meeting later advised that the legal route available for the council was to take the matter to the High Court as an urgent matter.

He advised the councillors that the Deputy Sheriff only deals with High Court orders.
Councillors later resolved and adopted that they take the case to the High Court.

In a letter to Rusape Town Council chairman, Mr Maligwa stated that they (town council) gave him the car, an Isuzu double cab and cash in lieu of stands after a mutual agreement and also as a ‘reward’ for turning the fortunes of the town.

However, Mr Chiwanza said according to the Urban Councils Act, conditions of service of council executives were subject to the approval of the Local Government Board. herald

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