BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
HAMUTENDI Kombayi has bounced back as Gweru mayor after being elected by fellow councillors to replace Josiah Makombe, who was recently recalled by the MDC-T party.
He is the youngest son of the late businessman and former mayor Patrick Kombayi.
The polls were held yesterday, with Kombayi (ward 1 councillor) garnering 11 votes against Martin Chivhoko (ward 4), who managed a paltry four votes.
There was one spoilt vote.
Efforts to conduct the polls on Monday flopped after councillors argued over the procedure.
Yesterday’s polls were presided over by the Gweru district development co-ordinator, Nyede Ndeya.
Southern Eye has gathered that the majority of councillors in Gweru have dumped Nelson Chamisa’s MDC Alliance for Douglas Mwonzora’s MDC-T.
Ndeya said the elections had to he held after the MDC-T wrote to Local Government minister July Moyo informing him of Makombe’s recall, although the matter is being contested at the High Court.
In his short acceptance speech, Kombayi pledged to work with all councillors “as a team” for the benefit of the city.
“I will work with all councillors to serve the city,”Kombayi said.
Kombayi was elected Gweru mayor in 2013, but was suspended two years later by then Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere on allegations of criminal abuse of office.
In early 2017, Kombayi was fired, but the Bulawayo High Court ordered his re-instatement.
He, however, opted to remain an ordinary councillor after Charles Chikozho had assumed the city’s mayorship when he was on suspension.