Local Government and Public Works Minister Hon. July Moyo has suspended Kwekwe mayor Angeline Kasipo and two other councillors Melody Chingarande and Makomborero Mlambo, for incompetence, gross misconduct and violation of the Urban Councils Act.
The date exhibited on the letter of suspension, February 28, 2023, indicates that it was authored just a day after the recall of as many councillors, including deputy mayor Pikurai Msipa, by MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora.
The recalled councillors are alleged to have exhibited actions siding with the rival CCC opposition party.
An impeccable source said the suspensions may have been caused by the three’s resistance to effecting ballooning tariffs in the 2023 budget.
“Minister July Moyo has suspended three more councillors, all in an effort to ensure that he imposes a 400 percent USD tariffs increase on residents without resistance from councillors.
“The suspended councillors were resisting the unjustified increase which is being pushed by MDC-T councillors in liaison with senior council management,” the source said.
Letter of Suspension
“In line with Section 114 (2) of the Urban Councils Act, Chapter (29:15) as amended by the Local Government Laws Amendment Act Number 8, of 2016, I have reasonable grounds for suspecting that you councillor Angeline Kasipo have committed acts of gross misconduct, gross incompetence, and willful violation of the law as referenced in subsection (1) (b) (c) and (e).
“(I do) hereby suspend you with immediate effect, from the office of Councillor of City of Kwekwe, Ward 10 in terms of Section 114 of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) as amended by Section 3 of the Local Government Amendment Act, Number 8 of 2016,” part of the suspension letter reads.
Allegations are that the three participated in a council process where a motion had been submitted by councillors Chingarande, Ndlovu, Ngwenya, Msipa and Moyo on a review of the 2023 approved budget.
“You supported the proposal and secondment of the illegal resolution passed on January 27, 2023 of reviewing an approved budget then, though you were advised by the chamber secretary about the illegality.
“This was in violation of the Public Finance Management Act (Chapter 22:19) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15.
“The law is very clear on the procedures for supplementing a budget after it has been approved.
“A supplementary budget has to undergo the same process as the approved budget in terms of Section 288 (5) of the Urban Councils Act,” the letter outlines.
Politics Or Governance
Moyo alleges that the actions exhibited by the trio resulted in the Midlands city becoming ungovernable and illegally operating without a budget.
The actions of the three suspended councillors are perceived to have amounted to incompetence, gross misconduct and wilful violation of the law.
Critics have accused Minister Moyo of abusing his office to advance political agendas against the mainly opposition urban councils.
The opposition CCC early this year swept clean all the urban by-elections after the initial recall of its members by the MDC-T
This has, however, worsened state machinations against them resulting in constant bans against their rallies and the suspensions of their urban councillors.