VP comes to foe Kasukuwere’s defence

via VP comes to foe Kasukuwere’s defence – NewZimbabwe 07/02/2016

VICE PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has been forced to defend Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who is under fire for disobeying a court order directing him to reinstate suspended Gweru Mayor Hamutendi Kombayi and his 10 city councillors.

Mnangagwa was responding to a question by Mkoba MP, Amos Chibaya who had asked the Justice Minister during parliament last week if government had plans to discipline the controversial Zanu PF political commissar for contempt of court.

In his response, Mnangagwa first took the MDC-T legislator through a law lecture before telling him Kasukuwere’s hands were clean.

“…The Honourable Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing was never in defiance of the order of the Court and therefore as Government, we have no reason to be worried,” Mnangagwa said.

The VP said the government will not be moved to set the police against Kasukuwere as this would be contrary to the same laws that Chibaya wanted government to observe.

Following his redeployment to the local government ministry last year, Kasukuwere chose to stay true to his controversial nature through summary suspensions on Kombayi, his deputy and nine councillors.

The minister accused the MDC-T councillors of mismanaging Gweru City Council funds and affairs, among other acts of alleged incompetence.

Kombayi and his councillors in turn filed an urgent High Court application in Bulawayo seeking a stay of their suspensions pending a determination on the legality of an independent tribunal constituted by Kasukuwere to determine their fate.

The embattled councillors were adamant no Act of Parliament was enacted to establish such a tribunal as envisaged under Section 278 (2) of the Constitution.

Mnangagwa insisted the High Court never directed the councillors to go back to their offices “as wrongly captured by Honorable Chibaya”.

“As we speak,” he added, “the Provisional Order was complied with as no such disciplinary proceedings were commenced as was the wish of the Respondent as was stayed by the Court.

“In fact, the Respondent, who is the Minister of Local Government, as a law abiding subject, also awaits the fate of the councillors’ application pending confirmation of the same or otherwise.

“Therefore, the allegation that the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing defied the order of the Court is false, given that such an allegation is predicated upon an alleged order that was never given by the High Court of Zimbabwe.”

Mnangagwa is leader of a Zanu PF faction battling for control of the party with the so-called Generation 40 ahead of President Robert Mugabe’s much anticipated exit from politics.

Kasukuwere, together with Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Jonathan Moyo, are both prominent G40 members.

The Mount Darwin MP, past few days, ranted against the VP, telling him to abandon his presidential ambitions which he said were misplaced as President Mugabe was still ensconced in his position.