LOCAL Government minister Ignatius Chombo wants suspended Harare executive mayor Elias Mudzuri to answer fresh allegations of misconduct, fuelling speculation that a committee led by James K
urasha had failed to establish any wrong-doing by Mudzuri.
In a letter dated February 16, Chombo said Mudzuri should answer allegations of abuse of authority, manipulation of tender procedures, failure to comply with section 313 (1) of the Urban Councils Act, general mismanagement of council affairs, misuse of public funds and mismanagement of finances.
The allegations come a month after the investigating committee submitted its report to Chombo. The report has not been made public or given to Mudzuri as the accused person.
Highly-placed sources in the Local Government ministry said the Kurasha report failed to reveal any wrong-doing by Mudzuri, prompting Chombo to raise fresh allegations to justify the mayor’s continued suspension.
Mudzuri said it was beyond any doubt that the new allegations were patently false and meant to justify his prolonged suspension.
“I am a little confused by the heading of your letter minister, as I am unaware that there is an inquiry into allegation of misconduct which you levelled against me under cover of your letter dated April 29,” Mudzuri said.
“I am equally perplexed and confused by the letter referring to the preliminary investigations into the allegations of misconduct against me having been carried out.”
Mudzuri’s suspension letter of April 29 did not specify that he was personally being investigated for misconduct. The Kurasha committee was investigating the general affairs of council.
Mudzuri denied the allegations referring the minister to provisions of the Act that fully set out powers of the mayor.
“All council employees and officials who were suspended or dismissed were dealt with in terms of the provisions of the Urban Councils Act and all necessary procedures provided for in the Act were followed,” said Mudzuri.
He also referred the minister to the chamber secretary and the town clerk for all records.
Mudzuri said Leslie Gwindi’s case was handled by the High Court which found that he was not properly employed. “Gwindi was not fired by myself but by council,” he said.