Residents have reacted to the reinstatement of Tinashe Kambarami as Bulawayo’s Ward 3 councillor and the city’s deputy mayor with some questioning how the High Court judgement, coming after three years would be complied with.
Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Martin Makonese on Thursday granted an order reinstating Kambarami after a three-year battle in court.
Kambarami’s woes started in November 2018 when a pressure group, the 1893 Mthwakazi Restoration Movement (1893MRM) approached the Bulawayo High Court seeking his termination from office claiming he was unfit for office due to his criminal record.
This was after Kambarami appeared before a Bulawayo magistrate in July 2018, on theft charges where he pleaded guilty and was fined $80 or 18 days in prison for stealing an extension cord from an electrician he had hired to do manual work at his offices.
1893MRM said Kambarami’s election violated the electoral laws of the country.
In 2019, Bulawayo High Court Justice Thompson Mabhikwa ruled that Kambarami was unfit for office.
This opened up a chain of legal battles, as Kambarami cited that he had appealed his conviction and also challenged his removal from council.
Kambarami was cleared by the Supreme Court and has been awaiting his reinstatement since then.
Speaking during This Morning on Asakhe, an online programme hosted by CITE on Twitter Space, a participant, only identified as BBG Mpofu questioned why the ruling had come so late and why Kambarami had kept on pushing.
“Why is he so obsessed with being a deputy mayor for Bulawayo, what is the reason?” he said.
“I don’t understand why after three years he has still been fighting this war. That is why at the end of the day, our places are underdeveloped because we are forced, or we’re being forced to have people in higher positions of development in the city, who originate from other places.”
He added: “That is a problem and this thing if we don’t closely follow it is going to give us a problem. I’m just failing to understand why he is so obsessed.”
Some participants questioned to which political party Kambarami now belongs between the Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-Alliance and Nelson Chamisa’s Citizens Coalition for Change.
“Why did it take so long to just pass a judgment to reinstate someone and then when you’re bringing in someone back after three years of being absent in that position, are you not destabilising the progress that the other guys have been making on the ground?” questioned another participant identified as Njabulo.
“Why didn’t he come back just as a councillor to do work in his ward and leave this (deputy mayor position) to those that have been pushing for the past three years?
We are left with less than a year if we’re going to have our elections next year in August, the latest so they could have pushed off and finished off the projects that were already pending.”