BY SILAS NKALA
LUPANE resident Martin Stobart has petitioned Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Richard Moyo, challenging the appointment of Pardon Kuipa and Ennet Sibanda as caretakers of the Lupane Local Board (LLB).
Kuipa is vice-chancellor of Lupane State University, while Sithole is district development co-ordinator.
They were appointed into the LLB by then former Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere during the late former President Robert Mugabe’s era.
In his petition, Stobart said the appointment of the pair was unconstitutional.
Stobart cited section 9 of the Constitution which deals with good governance and section 264 which deals with devolution of power, saying it was imperative for locals to be given power to make decisions about the affairs of their communities.
He further said section 265(2) of the Constitution stipulated that members of local authorities must be elected by registered voters from the area for which the local authorities were established.
“Therefore, the appointment of the two learned caretakers to sit on LLB as representatives of residents was and remains unconstitutional and it behoves your office to correct the anomaly by your predecessors,” Stobart wrote.
“The two caretakers were appointed not on merit, but on the basis of party politics. The appointment of the two caretakers is a travesty and mockery of the Constitution as the people of the local authority (LLB) are not directly and even remotely involved in the formulation and implementation of development plans. It is worse than the colonial, racist and segregationist era of the Rhodesia Front government.”
Stobart further said the appointment of Kuipa and Sithole as caretakers of LLB was discriminatory, adding that the two were not residents of Lupane town.
“They don’t qualify as they are not stakeholders; caretakers formulate and implement laws and policies on behalf of the residents. The two caretakers don’t even want to hold meetings with us (residents). They receive allowances for being absent from LLB.
“These are outrageous appointments from whichever angle one looks at them. They are both at Lupane expressly on duty. Both of them have tight work schedules. Kuipa is invariably either in Harare or out of the country, while Sithole is either in Harare or in Bulawayo fulfilling her normal engagements,” he said.
Moyo is yet to respond to the petition.