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Fired Zanu-PF councillor for ward 25 in Chitungwiza, Dr Fredrick Mabamba, has filed an urgent chamber application at the Constitutional Court to stop a council by-election in his ward pending determination of his challenge against dismissal.

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo on May 23 this year, dismissed Dr Mabamba 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, through his lawyer, Mr Charles Chikore of C Mutshahuni Chikore and Partners, argued that the suspension and subsequent dismissal were premised on Section 114 (3) and (4) of the Urban Councils Act, which is at variance with the new Constitution of Zimbabwe.

He seeking an order declaring Section 114(3) and (4) unconstitutional and his reinstatement.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has declared Ward 25 vacant and a by-election will be held on August 23.

Dr Mabamba on Friday filed an application seeking to bar ZEC from holding the by-election.

In a certificate of urgency by Harare lawyer Mr Brighton Mufadza, it was stated that there was no vacancy in the ward.

“The applicant is the incumbent. His office has not been vacated in accordance with the law. The election process commenced by the third respondent (ZEC) is as much a nullity as the process that purported to terminate the applicant’s councillorship,” he said.

Dr Mabamba argues that the tribunal that dealt with his case was not independent because the members were appointed by Minister Chombo.

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

Source : The Herald