Chipinge passes vote of no confidence on councilors

Chipinge – Chipinge residents have through their various associations and businesses groupings written to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing , July Moyo passing a vote of no confidence on the border town’s eight councilors.
The two page petition which was written on July 26 was sent to Moyo and copied to various other authorities including the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Nokuthula Matsikenyere, deputy Minister of Local Government Marian Chombo, Chipinge Central MP Raymore Machingura, council chairman Zivanai Nyakuchena, senator Dorothy Mabika and Chipinge Police Officer Commanding Kennedy Nyaumwe.
A spokesperson for the petitioners, Amato Rungano said the petition to the Minister serves to notify him that residents have withdrawn their power and mandate to the council which is chaired by Zivanai Nyakuchena.He said that this means that the councilors must step down. A prominent lawyer who spoke to Chipinge Times said that the Minister has the power to dismiss a councilor in terms of section 114 chapter 29:15 of the Urban Councils Act and after a councilor has been dismissed the seat becomes vacant.
The petitioners gave various reasons for asking the councilors to step down but most important they accused them of failing to heed a popular call by all residents to reduce rates that went up by 499%. They said that the rates are unaffordable and suffocating both residents and business. The residents are also angry that they engaged council on many occasions on the matter and got the undertaking that the rates would be reduced but since then nothing happened.
The issue of corruption at council was also raised in the petition. Currently council secretary Susan Dube and another senior officer Jeffrey Mwakachieyi are on $20 000 bail each after they were arrested for alleged corruption.
Nyakuchena said he still hasn’t received the petition although he heard about it. He however dismissed some of the allegations made in the petition as false. He said that there were areas where his council is said to be not supplying water when this is not true.
Asked whether his council is going to step down after receiving the petition, Nyakuchena said he hasnt seen the petition yet but he is aware of some of the contents of the petition. Efforts to get comments from Minister Moyo and
the Provincial Development Co-ordinator Edgars Seenza were fruitless.
The petition comes at a time when several councils are waiting for byelections following the withdrawal of councillors by MDC T president Douglas Mwonzora.
Chipinge council is MDC -A dominated and the petitioned councillors are council chairman Zivanai Nyakuchena, deputy chairman Elijah Mugidho, Crispen Rambo, Sarah Mlambo, Sarah Marwa, Haruchemwi Vushe Nhengu, Raina Madanyika and Lovemore Mutimwiyi.
The organisations that appended their signatures to the petition are Chipinge Town Community Association, Chipinge Urban Residents Association, Chipinge Business Initiative, Chipinge Town Residents Association, Vendors Association and People Living with Disabilities.

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