Helen Kadirire 14 March 2018
HARARE – Six more Chitungwiza Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
councillors were acquitted on Monday after a Tribunal found them not
According to Marufu Mandevere, the city fathers’ lawyer, the Tribunal
failed to prove that Chido Mangana, Darlington Musonza, Mavis Mazenge,
Francis Mutambakutongwa, Musekiwa Ruzvidzo and Tichaona Muchakwa were
guilty of any offence.
This comes as three other councillors Tendai Saimoni, Betty Jason Dokora
and Wilfred Gwekwete were also acquitted last week.
Chitungwiza’s 25 suspended councillors were facing charges of abusing
council funds, allocating themselves hefty allowances and unlawfully
borrowing money from the council’s Estates Account without ministerial
In the ruling that acquitted the councillors, the tribunal blamed former
town clerk George Makunde for giving wrong advice to council during a
meeting held on March 24, 2016. The questions related to the legality of
borrowing from the Estates account.
“The statement by the town clerk to the councillors during the meeting of
March 24, 2016 was clearly wrong. Such a borrowing is prohibited by law,
unless there is ministerial approval,” reads the ruling.
During Tribunal hearings, Mandevere accused acting chamber secretary Mary
Mukonyori of ill-advising councillors to borrow from the account.
Mandevere said because the issue of allowances was to benefit the
councillors, management did not approve yet they allowed councillors to
borrow money from the account with former Local Government minister
Saviour Kasukuwere’s approval.
“In respect to the Estates account, you went ahead without ministerial
approval because you benefitted yet with the allowances you did not
process them because they were not sanctioned. You cannot say councillors
increased their allowances if the minister did not approve – they were not
“I will forgive you because you said you are not a lawyer but if you were
one I would tell you that you are an immoral and unprofessional lawyer
who abandons a client who has followed their legal advice. This is an
offence that you as management committed,” Mandevere said.