Home » Governance » 4 Vie for Chitungwiza Ward 25 Council Seat

THE Nomination Court sat in Chitungwiza last Friday and four aspiring council candidates filed their papers to fill the vacancy created in the town’s Ward 25 following the dismissal of Dr Fredrick Mabamba on charges of gross mismanagement of council affairs. The process was conducted following a court order that allowed the nomination to go ahead but deferred the by-election date from August 23 pending determination of former Zanu-PF councillor Dr Mabamba’s constitutional challenge on September 3. Justice Bharat Patel granted an urgent chamber application by Dr Mabamba for stay of the election pending the Constitutional Court’s decision on the propriety of his dismissal.

Dr Mabamba filed an urgent chamber application at the Constitutional Court to stop the council by-election for his ward pending determination of his challenge against dis- missal.

ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said the nomination process was conducted peacefully and four candidates successfully filed their papers.

“The process was conducted today in Chitungwiza and four candidates successfully filed their papers,” she said.

Those who were successfully nominated were Cde Simbiso Mhike of Zanu-PF, Mr Kenneth Chinyaire of MDC-T and two independents whose names could not be established yesterday.

Dr Mabamba did not file his papers because he believed he was still the incumbent and his dismissal should be declared unconstitutional. His lawyer Mr Charles Chikore of C. Mutshahuni Chikore and Partners confirmed the development.

“My client is still the incumbent and he cannot be seen to be part of a process that he is challenging,” he said.

“He believes his dismissal is unconstitutional and he now awaits the Constitutional Court’s determination on the main challenge. They (ZEC) can go ahead with their nomination, it does not matter.”

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo on May 23 this year dismissed Dr Mabamba from council after he was convicted of gross mismanagement of council affairs by a disciplinary tribunal.

His dismissal had been recommended by a board of enquiry in terms of Section 114(i) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15). Dr Mabamba argued that the suspension and subsequent dismissal were all premised on Section 114 (3) and (4) of the Urban Councils Act, which is at variance with the new Constitution of Zimbabwe.

He sought an order declaring Section 114(3) and (4) as unconstitutional and he wants the court to reinstate him as a councillor.

Dr Mabamba also sought nullification of Minister Chombo’s decision and the enquiry conducted, arguing that they were all unconstitutional.

Section 278 (2) and (3) of the Constitution stipulates that an independent tribunal should be set up to exercise the function of removing a mayor, chairperson and councillors and Dr Mabamba argued that the tribunal that dealt with his case was compromised because the members were appointed by Minister Chombo.

He argued that two of the committee members were from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, while the chairperson was also appointed by Minister Chombo.

Source : The Herald