TWELVE of the 16 suspended Gweru city councillors snubbed tribunal hearings, which were set to take place at Town House on Thursday, after their lawyers wrote to Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere arguing that the panel was not properly constituted.
Kasukuwere last week wrote to the councillors, including mayor Hamutendi Kombayi, advising them to appear before a tribunal committee to answer to corruption, gross misconduct and maladministration charges levelled against them.
Taken from SouthernEye
The tribunal, chaired by Lixon Chikumbirike, also includes former Midlands provincial administrator Stephen Chakaipa, Ganyani Khosa and prosecutor Justin Uladi.
On Wednesday, the councillors’ lawyers wrote to Kasukuwere advising that their clients would not appear before the tribunal.
“In this regard, we wish to advise that, the tribunal which you have set-up fails to meet the requisite elements to be the tribunal envisaged in terms of Section 278 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” read part of the letter dated September 2 and signed by Tafadzwa Christmas from the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.
“We, therefore, wish to advise that our clients will not appear before the purported tribunal you have set and will not legitimise or recognise its existence and jurisdiction over them.
“We also advise that any decision or verdict made by the current tribunal has no force or effect at law over our clients.
“Only when an independent tribunal has been set up as provided for by Section 278 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe will they have a legally recognised forum to respond to your allegations against them.”
Chikumbirike could not be reached for comment yesterday.