MDC-T hails Kombayi reinstatement 

Source: MDC-T hails Kombayi reinstatement – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 2, 2017

MORGAN Tsvangirai’s MDC-T yesterday hailed the High Court’s recent order nullifying the expulsion of former Gweru mayor Hamutendi Kombayi early this year, but indicated that its top officials would soon decide on current mayor Charles Chikozho’s status.

Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi on Tuesday ordered Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere to reinstate Kombayi and councillor Kenneth Sithole to their positions without loss of salaries and benefits.

Chikozho took over as Gweru mayor soon after Kombayi’s expulsion in March this year.

Both Kombayi and Chikozho were elected into council on MDC-T tickets.

“There will be internal party processes that will be followed as soon as possible,” party spokesperson Obert Gutu said.

“Everything is under control and in the fullness of time, the party will be releasing an official statement.”

The party’s secretary for local government Eddie Cross described the ruling as a welcome development.

He said after the entire council was fired, Kasukuwere appointed a three-member caretaker commission to run council business, drawing huge sums of money as allowances. Cross said since the MDC took control of the urban local authorities in 2000, the Zanu PF government has been frustrating smooth operations by meddling in their affairs.

“Since the MDC took control of the majority of urban councils in Zimbabwe in 2000, Zanu PF has abused its control of the Local Government ministry in seeking to recover control of the urban councils,” he said.

“It has persistently used its now unconstitutional powers under the Urban Councils Act, to suspend and frustrate elected councils decisions and resolutions. It has stripped councils of essential revenue sources and cancelled debts owed to councils without consultation or compensation.

“As a consequence, the failure of councils to maintain essential services and to improve the administration of councils can very largely be attributed to the Local Government ministry.”

Cross said Kasukuwere should respect the Constitution that empowered local authorities to run their own affairs.

“It was also the clear intention of the Constitution to create autonomous local authorities with considerable powers to raise their own funds and administer the affairs of local authorities in the best interests of the ratepayers and to be accountable to the ratepayers for their activities and performance,” he said.