Tribunal set to probe suspended Chitown councillors

Tribunal set to probe suspended Chitown councillors

Source: Tribunal set to probe suspended Chitown councillors – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 15, 2017

Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere has engaged the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on the appointment of a tribunal to conduct suspended Chitungwiza mayor, Phillip Mutoti and his councillors’ disciplinary hearings.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

Kasukuwere told NewsDay yesterday that the ministry had established that all the 25 councillors had cases to answer.

He said this followed an assessment of their responses to allegations that they prejudiced the dormitory town of over $7 million through the illegal sale of State land, hence, the need to bring the councillors before a tribunal
“We have asked the JSC to help us appoint people who will sit on the tribunal. All the councillors will have to appear before that tribunal to respond to the allegations they are facing. We are now only waiting for the JSC to give us names of the people to be on the tribunal,” Kasukuwere said.

The minister suspended all Chitungwiza town councillors in April on allegations of corruption following an internal audit, which exposed plunder, where city fathers were allegedly selling stands illegally.

After the suspensions, Kasukuwere gave the councillors seven days to prove their innocence, with all of them challenging their suspensions, prompting him to approach the JSC to appoint a tribunal to carry out disciplinary hearings.

The Local Government minister is empowered to appoint a tribunal to probe councillors accused of any wrongdoing and if found guilty, the tribunal can recommend expulsion.

According to the allegations being levelled against them, the 25 councillors were involved in the sale of land for personal gain.

The explosive internal audit report stated that council staff and councillors were identifying undeveloped stands and submitting them for verification before allocating them to themselves and their associates.

The report listed all councillors, including those from the ruling party as having benefited from the illegal land sales, with Charamba Mlambo reportedly improperly selling at least 46 stands, while Lameck Chibvongodze allegedly sold 32 stands.

Some of the named land looters have had a drastic change in lifestyle.

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