Victoria Falls councillors brawl over corruption report

By VicFallsLive

A special full council meeting meant to present the findings of a commission of inquiry set by the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works to investigate claims of corruption against Victoria Falls City town clerk Ronnie Dube failed to take off on Tuesday after a standoff between the city’s mayor and councillors over who should preside over the meeting.

Minister July Moyo set up the probe team late last year after residents and the mayor Somvelo Dhlamini accused Dube of corruption.

Earlier this month, the ministry brought the findings of the report for adoption by the council but the meeting could not take place.

At the Tuesday meeting, Ward 3 Councillor Lungile Nyoni argued that Dhlamini could not chair the meeting as he was an interested party in the matter.

However, the mayor declined to step down saying there was no law preventing him from chairing the meeting.

The meeting was then stopped briefly as councillors tried to contact Minister Moyo to seek clarification on the matter but the minister did not answer his phone.

The mayor then adjourned the meeting before the report could be presented to allow Minister Moyo to clarify the issues raised by some of the councillors.

Dube and Dlamini have in the past few years been at each other’s throats on counter-accusations of corruption.

Dube was once arrested more than two years ago and acquitted by the courts and Dlamini is currently on bail pending trial following his arrest last October.

Dlamini had invited a Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission investigating team to Victoria Falls to investigate Dube and instead he was arrested after the team bumped into irregularities involving him.

The Local Government Minister then set up a team of investigators which presented the findings in a closed-door meeting to the Victoria Falls Council two weeks ago.

Local Government deputy minister Marrian Chombo presented the report but said its contents will only be made public after it is debated by a full council.

Some of the allegations against Dube as raised by Dlamini and Victoria Falls Combined Residents Association are that Dube allocated pieces of land without following council procedure, unproceduraly leased the council brewery and obtained a car loan from the council.

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