Victoria Falls Reporter
Victoria Falls town clerk Ronnie Dube has been suspended in a move expected to help stabilise operations of the city pending finalisation of criminal allegations against him.
Dube was arrested on charges of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer before being released on $50 000 bail early last week.
He continued executing his duties after his release following a resolution by councillors to reverse the suspension by mayor Somveli Dlamini a fortnight ago.
Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo visited Victoria Falls on Thursday last week and implored councillors and management to work together for the benefit of the city.
“We want to bring sanity so that the city continues to work on a trajectory that will enhance the attraction of tourists,” he said. “Given that the President came here to receive the Freedom of the City and that he upgraded it from a municipality to a city and came here to demonstrate that this is the city where we want tourists to come by being vaccinated here, the city has now attained herd immunity.
“Anything that the council will do that can jeopardise this thrust that Government has, I needed to nip it in the bud. So, once you have a town clerk of a city like this being investigated by the law courts then we have to stabilise the management and we have stabilised by saying there should be an acting town clerk while he (town clerk) is dealing with his issues.”
Chamber Secretary Ms Kholwani Mangena will be acting town clerk.
The city council has been under fire, especially from residents who have been pushing for a review of the 2021 budget which they said was not pro-people.
Clr Dlamini suspended Dube twice since last year, but fellow councillors on both occasions reversed the decision and reinstated the town clerk.
Minister Moyo recently wrote to council ordering management to justify its desire to review the budget downwards.
He said he visited Victoria Falls to encourage councillors and management “to work together as a team because they are professionals.”
“So that’s why I came to encourage the councillors to work together with officials who are remaining even if the town clerk is suspended to work very closely with each other and not wait for the town clerk who is not there,” said Minister Moyo.
On the budget, he said Government will not dictate to council and encouraged the city fathers to find a win-win solution that will be beneficial to ratepayers and also enhance service delivery.
“I know that there are issues related to the budget process, people and business here are under pressure and we understand that,” he said.
“They will do a supplementary budget and look at all possibilities of how they can overcome the issues that people are raising.
“I am not going to be prescribing anything but I think that councillors and officials know the pressure that people have here. They want to survive and facilities want to survive too but the city must also survive so that it continues to attract tourists.”