Sunday, 28 October 2018

CHITOWN MAYOR FORCED TO STEP DOWN


Chitungwiza mayor Gift Tsverere and his deputy Jabulani Mtunzi have consented to an order for them to relinquish their posts and allow for fresh elections.

This comes after High Court judge Edith Mushore granted an order effectively suspending the two politicians, pending the outcome of the main application.

According to Kiven Mutimbanyoka, who was represented by Ray Nembo, the appointment of the two was illegal.

In his High Court application Mutimbanyoka said together with other councillors, they had received invitations from the chamber secretary on September 1 this year to attend a meeting, which was scheduled for September 4.

The meeting was for the councillors’ swearing-in ceremony. During the meeting, the court heard, the acting chamber secretary also called for the elections and inauguration of the mayor and his deputy, which was to be carried out on September 5.

The process was later shifted with authorities announcing the elections were to be done on the same day, September 4 without the mandatory 24 hours’ notice having been given to all councillors, as per the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15).

Mutimbanyoka said this prejudiced the councillors — including him — because he wanted to contest for the two positions.

In their notice of opposition Tsverere and Mtunzi said the provisional order had been obtained in a clandestine and fraudulent manner insisting they never received notice of set down upon which they intended to then file their notice of opposition.

The pair argued that while they do not object to the relief sought by Mutimbanyoka they felt that council lawyers who were supposed to represent them had shown bias towards the applicant.

“We then established from the High Court record a certain…Makumbe at council offices had received the notice of set down and ostensibly handed it over to council lawyers Messrs Matsikidze and Mucheche without even advising us.

“…I am highly suspicious because this issue also involved her superiors including…Makumbe hence she might have been directed not to give us the notice of set down given that he also had not supported our election as mayor and deputy mayor respectively.

“What is more confusing is that she went on to hand over the notice of set down to our council lawyers who went to court without consulting us even though they were supposed to represent us in our personal capacities.”

The pair also opposed an award of costs on attorney insisting no one should be penalised given the way the matter was handled.

“In fact, if we had been served with the notice of set down, we are confident that it is the applicant who should have paid the costs of suit on attorney-client scale,” the pair said. Daily News

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