MDC-Alliance Chitungwiza Mayor Lovemore Maiko has been arrested and charged with criminal abuse of office after he allegedly demoted a senior manager at the local authority and appointed his friend to the post.
National Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrest.
He said that Maiko allegedly breached his contract by demoting a district officer to a library post and replaced him with his friend, who reportedly does not have proper qualifications or is fit for the job.
He said more details will be availed later today. The Herald is in possession of a letter in which a supplementary item was added to the main agenda of a special full council meeting chaired by Maiko.
The subject of the letter signed by acting chamber secretary Raymond Wenyeve was the consideration for reassignment of Mr T. Chinganga to revamp council libraries and community hall.
Ordinarily, Maiko, who is a ceremonial mayor and other councillors should not interfere with staff directly except for the Human Resources Committee.
A highly placed source close to Maiko’s arrest said he was taken to Harare Central Police station. The source said last week Maiko facilitated the convening of an illegal special council meeting to consider the demotion and reassignment of workers that have been assisting state security agencies with evidence on corruption bedevilling Chitungwiza.
Mr Chinganga, who is a senior council manager and was assisting the PDC appointed the task force and ZACC with illegal land dealings in Chitungwiza was allegedly demoted after being harassed by some councillors for contributing information leading to several arrests.
In line with Section 311 (12) of the Urban Council’s Act, Maiko is facing criminal charges of interference with ongoing investigations.
Mr Chinganga’s demotion comes at a time when another council employee, who is out on bail was reportedly promoted during the same meeting without adherence to city by-laws and Urban Council’s Act.