Chitungwiza mayor Gift Tsverere and his deputy Jabulani Mtunzi have been suspended, following a High Court application challenging their appointments.
This followed an application by Kiven Mutimbanyoka, who cited Local Government minister July Moyo, Tsverere, Mtunzi, acting Chitungwiza chamber secretary, Chitungwiza Municipality, Chitungwiza district administrator and the provincial administrator Harare Metropolitan, as respondents.
According to Mutimbanyoka, who was represented by Ray Nembo, the appointment of the two was illegal.
“This is an application for suspension of the election declaration and appointment of second and third respondents (Tsverere and Mtunzi) as mayor and deputy mayor of the Municipality Chitungwiza, pending the determination by this honourable court of the matter in case number HC 8643/18.
“Suspension of second and third respondents from carrying out any duties as mayor and deputy mayor of the Municipality of Chitungwiza, pending the determination by this honourable court of the matter in case number HC 8643/18,” the court was told.
Mutimbanyoka said together with other councillors, they had received invitations from the Chamber secretary on the 1st of September this year to attend a meeting, which was scheduled for September 4.
The meeting was for the councillors’ swearing in ceremony.
During the meeting, the court heard, the acting Chamber secretary also called for the elections and inauguration of the mayor and his deputy, which was to be carried out on the 5th of September.
The process was later shifted with authorities announcing the elections was to be done on the same day, the 4th of September.
“The town clerk, dutifully and rightly so, pointed out that the meeting had not been properly sanctioned, more particularly that the mandatory 24 hours’ notice had not been given to all councillors, as per the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15),” the court heard.
Mutimbanyoka said this prejudiced councillors, including him, because he also wanted to contest for the two positions.
High Court judge Edith Mushore granted the order in Mutimbanyoka’s favour, effectively suspending the two politicians, pending the outcome of the main application.
In her ruling, she gave an interim order for the: “Suspension of the 2nd and 3rd respondents from carrying out any duties and or receiving any benefits as mayor and deputy mayor of the Municipality of Chitungwiza, pending the determination by this honourable court of the matter in case HC8643/18.
“1st, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th respondents be and are hereby barred from assigning any duties and or benefits to 2nd and third respondents in their purported roles as mayor and deputy mayor of the municipality of chitungwiza pending determination by this hounourable court of the matter in case number HC 8643/18.”