Defiant Kombayi promises corruption audit

An audit to stamp out corruption at town house will be the first priority of incoming city fathers, says Mayor Hamutendi Kombayi.

Hamutendi Kombayi: MDC-T undecided about his fate.
Hamutendi Kombayi: MDC-T undecided about his fate.

He told The Zimbabwean he wanted to restore transparency and service delivery and was unfazed by attempts by the MDC-T local leadership to have him fired from the party.

Together with nine other councillors and his deputy Artwell Matyorauta, the mayor faces expulsion after violating a directive on mayoral posts ahead of internal council elections held on September 16. But the party’s National Executive Council has failed to unanimously endorse their dismissal. “Several top officials in the party who received reports from the Midlands South NEC member Amos Chibaya who is also the Mkoba MP argued that it was too harsh to completely expel the councillors from the party because at least they did not vote for a Zanu (PF) candidate for any of the two posts,” said a source who attended the meeting.

“On the other hand, some officials however argued that an example needed to be set for members who defy the party and even its president (Morgan) Tsvangirai through expulsions. Another group suggested suspensions ranging from two to five years but at the end of the day the matter was deferred and no resolution was made as no consensus could be found,” he added. Contacted for comment, Jameson Tsuro, the MDC-T’s provincial Acting Organising Secretary insisted that the NEC “will definitely punish the defiant councillors.” But Kombayi insisted: “We are just waiting for an induction exercise that we are supposed to go through in the next few days to come. After that we have all resolved to deliver our duties diligently and try not to be detracted by party politics. The people of Gweru cannot have their problems put on hold because of politics.

“So the first step is going to be an audit that should reveal all corrupt activities that we have been hearing of before we were voted into office,” he said.

The former mayor Teddious Chimombe and several councillors were found guilty of corruption. A probe led by MDC-T’s Deputy Secretary General Tapiwa Mashaka discovered that the previous city fathers had illegally amassed commercial stands, bypassed bylaws in setting up their personal businesses and mishandled council finances – leading to their expulsion from the party.

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