By Judith Sibanda
Victoria Falls councillors have appointed the city’s chamber secretary, Kholwani Mangena as the acting town clerk following the suspension of the incumbent Ronnie Dube.
According to Mayor Councillor Somvelo Dlamini, Mangena assumed duty on May 13, the same day Dube was verbally relieved from his duties by the minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing July Moyo to pave the way for investigations into the criminal abuse of office charges.
“She will be acting until this matter has been finalised, and this is according to the Urban Council’s constitution that we should immediately appoint someone to fill in that gap.”
Dlamini, however, said Dube has not been issued with the formal suspension letter.
“We are yet to give him his suspension letter that he is supposed to sign,” he said.
“The one that I’d served him with prior to his court appearance was reversed by the councillors, so he will be given a formal suspension letter very soon and he is supposed to sign it.”
Dube (54) was arrested a fortnight ago by officers from the joint Police Anti-Corruption Unit (PACU) and Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU) on allegations of abuse of office where he, on September 28, 2017, received a request to purchase additional land behind stands 1381, 1382, 1383, 1384, 1385, 1386 and 943 from Ntokozo Mlilo, who is group human resources manager for Shearwater Adventures.
He allegedly caused the valuation of the stands by Backstone Properties who responded on February 11, 2019.
The Hwange regional state prosecutors allege that Dube misrepresented to Victoria Falls ordinary full council meeting that one applicant Shearwater Adventures had expressed interest in commercial stand number 1782 yet there were other companies that had also expressed interest such as Wild Horizons and in turn, Council adopted the report and resolved to offer the stand to Shearwater Adventures without following tender procedures.
It is alleged that the council has a resolution passed on April 1, 2014, which required that commercial stands be sold on tender.
He is out on ZWL$50 000 bail and will be back in court on June 10 for his trial.