Ward 1 councillor, Mlandu Ncube, has withdrawn his urgent chamber application against former Ward 3 councillor Tinashe Kambarami arguing that it falls away since the latter has been recalled from council.
The two had been locked in a battle for Bulawayo’s deputy mayor post, a fight that started after Kambarami was removed from council in 2019 after he was declared unfit for office over a criminal record reported in 2018.
Kambarami was in and out of court, challenging his removal from council.
In Kambarami’s absence, Ncube was elected deputy mayor.
However, earlier this September, Kambarami was reinstated back to his council position by the Bulawayo High Court.
His return saw Ncube approaching the Bulawayo High Court seeking to block Kambarami from assuming the city’s deputy mayor post.
As this challenge was playing out in court, the MDC-T which controls most of the councillors in Bulawayo, recalled Kambarami, ending his brief and eventful return to the local authority.
In a letter dated 14 September, local government minister July Moyo informed Bulawayo Town Clerk Christopher Dube that he was “in receipt of a letter from the Movement of Democratic Change stating that Councillor Tinashe Kambarami of ward 3 had ceased to be a member of the party”.
This Friday, Ncube’s urgent chamber application was set down at the Bulawayo High Court before Judge, Justice Maxwell Takuva, at his chambers.
Ncube, represented by Nqobani Sithole of Ncube Attorneys withdrew his case and offered to pay Kambarami’s legal costs.
“Mlandu Ncube withdrew his application and tendered costs. His view is that since Kambarami has been recalled from the Bulawayo City Council, there is no need for him to proceed with the litigation,” said Kambarami’s lawyer – Bruce Masamvu of Masamvu and Da Silva-Gustavo Law Chambers.
The declaratory order and ancillary relief application filed by Ncube a couple of weeks ago argued that the court reinstating Kambarami related only to his resumption of duties as Ward 3 councillor and not to the position of Bulawayo deputy mayor in terms of the Urban Councils Act Section 103.
“It was incumbent upon councillors and the 2nd respondent (Bulawayo) to trigger an election of a deputy mayor. The election must be done within 30 days in terms of the law and that is what was done. This action also falls within my administrative rights and triggered my assumption of duties from the 7th of October 2020 to date and this has included me getting allowances and other benefits in terms of the Urban Council Act,” read part of Ncube’s initial application.
The Ward 1 councillor also filed a second application for correction, variation and rescission of the order reinstating Kambarami.
In the application, Ncube pleaded with the High Court to correct or vary or rescind the order to the extent that it purportedly orders or entitles Kambarami to resume duties as deputy mayor.
Ncube said he approached the court on an urgent basis because he had “reasonable fear and apprehension that Kambarami and the City of Bulawayo are likely to interfere with the discharge of my obligations as the incumbent deputy mayor of the City of Bulawayo.”
He also said they may “interfere directly with my rights as enshrined under the Urban Councils Act including but not limited to officiating at council meetings, chairing certain committees as deputy mayor or assuming the position of acting mayor as and when deemed necessary.”
Ncube claimed, “Kambarami has not hidden his intentions to usurp my powers as he thinks wrongly so that I am not the deputy mayor of the City of Bulawayo and has openly objected to my acting as such.”
“What has compounded issues necessitating this urgent chamber application for an Interdict is that Kambarami has gone to the newspapers, threatening my position as sitting deputy mayor,” read part of the second application.