Minister lifts suspension of Umguza councillors

Source: Minister lifts suspension of Umguza councillors – NewsDay Zimbabwe


LOCAL Government minister July Moyo has reversed the suspension of four Umguza Rural District Council (RDC) councillors after they took him to court.

The ministry suspended David Moyo, Ernest Sibanda, Mary Shelton and Sisa Moyo in July after they overturned the ministry’s suspension of Umguza RDC chief executive officer Collen Moyo on corruption charges, particularly with regards to the allocation of stands in the district.

The quartet was part of Umguza RDC’s disciplinary committee which had been instituted to investigate the council’s CEO following his suspension.

The four councillors absolved Moyo of any wrongdoing and reversed his suspension, a move which angered the government.

Government accused the councillors of frustrating investigations against the suspended CEO.

In a major climbdown, Moyo has since written to the councillors withdrawing the suspension.

“Taking cognisance of the urgent chamber application, which you filed with the Bulawayo High Court, case number 1091/21, I hereby withdraw the suspension letter dated July 2, 2021,” Moyo wrote to each of the councillors.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has also instituted investigations into corrupt activities at the Umguza RDC.

Government suspended Umguza RDC CEO in April following an inquiry that recommended his suspension pending further investigations on allegations of land corruption at the local authority.

This is not the first time the CEO has been found on the wrong side of the law.

In 2012, he was arrested for allegedly unlawfully facilitating the release of funds to Notify Enterprises before it was contracted to carry out rehabilitation of a road.

When the project was put to tender and Moyo realised he was going to be exposed, he allegedly abused his power to cause the awarding of the tender to Notify Enterprises in retrospect.

The contractor was allegedly paid a total of $1 455 650, but no bridge was constructed.

However, the case was later dropped before plea.