By NQOBANI NDLOVU
SUSPENDED Victoria Falls town clerk Ronnie Dube is back in office after he was absolved of any wrongdoing by a commission of inquiry tasked to investigate him for gross misconduct and abuse of office.
The commission found out that city fathers erred in suspending Dube on charges alleged to have been committed before he was employed as town clerk, particularly the charge of improper allocation of stands.
The verdict of the commission was handed over to a special full council meeting that resolved to reinstate Dube with immediate effect.
The commission was chaired by Alderman Nkosilathi Jiyani.
“Following the full special council meeting … council resolved that (i) following the recommendations of the commission of inquiry, it is clear that there is nothing that implicates you to the alleged offences (ii) you are, therefore, reinstated with full pay and benefits with immediate effect,” mayor Somveli Dlamini wrote to Dube on Thursday.
Dlamini suspended Dube on April 28 on charges of gross incompetence, corruption, abuse of office and causing the local authority to lose revenue through alleged illegal sale of stands.
Dube said he was relieved to be back in office as the charges were frivolous.
“I feel relieved. The charges were obviously unfounded, demeaning and devoid of truth.
“Very depressing indeed,” he told Southern Eye.
The probe team focused its investigations on the period ranging from Dube’s appointment in December 2016 as town clerk, to the date of suspension.
In its recommendations, the commission of inquiry urged council to exhaust internal mechanisms before taking costly steps of suspending staff.
“In future, there is a need for the council to have internal mechanisms of dispute resolution to safeguard taxpayers’ monies,” the chairperson of the probe team wrote.
“A thorough internal investigation ought to have picked that there was no nexus between the allegations and Dube’s conduct as a town clerk. Most of the stands were allocated before he commenced employment with the council.”