I am the legitimate mayor, graft-accused Dlamini declares

THERE was drama in the Victoria Falls City Council boardroom on Wednesday when councillors deposed corruption-accused mayor Somveli Dlamini saying he was not fit to chair meetings.

Dlamini was however adamant after the special full council saying he remains the legitimate mayor and will continue chairing council proceedings despite opposition from his colleagues.

He sat on the mayoral chair for a few minutes on Wednesday before Councillor Thuso Moyo moved a motion to have him removed from the chair’s position and a majority of councillors seconded the proposal.

Councillors wanted him to be chucked out of the council boardroom but he ended up following proceedings as an ordinary councillor with Cllr Tonderai Mutasa chairing.

Dlamini is on bail pending trial on a charge of corruption involving a housing stand he unprocedurally sold and councillors want him to stop attending council meetings.

His bail conditions include him not interfering with witnesses and evidence, which is all at the council premises.

Cllr Moyo said Dlamini was ultra vires by attending and chairing council meetings and was supported by Cllr Joseph Dzangai who said he was not supposed to attend.

Councillors proposed that a Zanu-PF councillor Mutasa chairs the meeting.

Zanu-PF Cllr Mutasa and Cllr Bekithemba Mlotshwa are the only non CCC councillors in the Victoria Falls City Council boardroom.

Dlamini was saved by Local Government deputy minister Marian Chombo who in the middle of the drama sneaked out of the boardroom to consult and came back with a directive that Dlamini could be allowed to attend but not chair the meeting.

The special full council was called to allow a probe team set up by Minister Moy on the request of Dlamini to investigate Town Clerk Ronnie Dube, to present its findings.

The report was presented to the council for adoption but will be made public after the council deliberates on it.

After the meeting, Dlamini said he is the legitimate mayor.

Over the past few months, Cllrs Mutasa and deputy mayor Patricia Mwale have been taking turns on the mayoral seat.

“I would like to clear the air on who is the actual mayor of Victoria Falls,” said Dlamini.

“I was voted and was sworn in as the mayor of the city and there is no vacancy. I am going to continue to chair all council meetings up until the end of my term.”

He said he agreed to step aside at the Wednesday meeting for ethical reasons.

“I dropped and allowed council to choose one among themselves to chair the meeting because I am the complainant together with the residents association and so I couldn’t chair the same meeting for ethical reasons,” he said.

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