Commission of inquiry for suspended Vic Falls Town Clerk

By Tinashe Mungazi

Victoria Falls City has set up a commission to investigate the suspended Town Clerk Ronnie Dube’s alleged misconduct following his arrest on criminal abuse of office charges.

Dube was last month arrested and charged with criminal abuse of office as a public officer for allegedly misleading the council in awarding a stand to a tour operator.

He is currently on bail awaiting trial and is expected in court on 10 June.

Victoria Falls mayor councillor Somveli Dhlamini confirmed the development arguing that a three-member commission was probing the matter as stipulated by the Urban Act.

“Yes, it’s true we did set up a commission of inquiry to look into the allegations of misconduct brought on the town clerk. The commission is made up of 5 members, a former mayor and alderman, a former councillor, a sitting chief executive officer of a local authority and a lawyer. The commission was set up in terms of section 100 of the Urban Councils Act,” said Clr Dlamini.

He said the commission which had been given a period of 5 days to conclude their investigations will then recommend to the full council its findings before appropriate action was taken.

Clr Dlamini said Dube was under investigation for a series of corruption allegations involving the issuing of commercial stands at the local authority.

“He is under investigation by the special anti-corruption branch on various allegations of corruption however I cannot divulge much as investigations are ongoing. It is on record that he is currently in court for allegations involving the issuing of a commercial stand. So once investigations being conducted are done council will take appropriate action as per the law.”

Dube stands accused of influencing the awarding of a commercial stand to tourism operator, Shearwater in violation of tender procedures by misleading councillors. It is alleged that sometime on 8 September 2017 Dube received a request to purchase additional land behind stands 1381, 1382, 1383, 1384, 1385, 1386 and 943 from Ntokozo Mlilo, group human resources manager for Shearwater Adventures.

It is further alleged that Dube then caused the evaluation of the stand by Becktone P/L who responded to him on 11 February 2019 with the value of the stand. He went on to misrepresent to Victoria Falls an ordinary full council meeting through a Town Clerk’s report, that one applicant Shearwater had expressed interest to acquire a commercial stand number 1782, Victoria Falls yet in the actual fact there were other companies that had also expressed interest such as Wild Horizons. Council adopted the report and resolved to offer it to Shearwater without following tender procedures as required by the 1 April 2014 council resolution which required that commercial stands be sold on tender.

The state said Dube in the exercise of his duties or functions as such, intentionally influenced Council through his report to sale a commercial stand 1782 without following tender procedures which was contrary or inconsistent with his duties as a public officer.

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