A BULAWAYO man has filed an urgent High Court application seeking the nullification of last monthâ€™s appointment of nine councillors by Local Government minister Ignatious Chombo to run the affairs of the MDC-led city council.
The application was lodged with the High Court yesterday by MDC ward chairperson for Emakhandeni, Billy Ncube, through his lawyer Job Sibanda.
Ncube said he has the right to challenge the appointment because he was a ratepayer and a Bulawayo resident.
Chombo last month appointed the councillors, businessmen Omega Sibanda and Ernest Marima, former Zanu PF councillors Tryphine Nhliziyo, Alderman David Ndlovu, Dennis Ndlovu, Alderman Abednico Nyathi, Tadubana Tshuma and Emmanuel Kanjoma, to assist the MDC council to run its affairs.
Under the Urban Councils Act, the minister has the power to appoint additional councillors to represent special interest groups.
Ncube in his application says Chombo abused provisions of the Act by appointing Zanu PF members to council instead of appointing special interests group representatives.
He said it was clear from those appointed that Chombo was only bringing back Zanu PF supporters and officials into council through the back door.
“The second respondent (Chombo) in appointing commissioners failed to discharge his obligations in terms of the Act. To put it more bluntly, the second respondent attempted to bring back to council via the back door some failed candidates in last council elections and past Zanu PF councillors and alderman, in an effort to have Zanu PF represented in council,” reads Ncubeâ€™s application.
The Bulawayo City Council is the first respondent in the matter.
Ncube further alleged the councillors save for Sibanda and Marima, were not representing any interest group but Zanu PF.
“All the appointed councillors, save for two, the third respondent (Sibanda) and the fourth respondent (Marima) are former Zanu PF councillors and aldermen of the Bulawayo City council. All save the two represent no particular interest group save Zanu PF,” Ncube said.
Chombo has been accused of interfering with the running of urban authorities that are dominated by the MDC.
By Loughty Dube