By Judith Sibanda
Victoria Falls Mayor and Ward 9 Councillor Somvelo Dhlamini has been arrested and detained by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) on allegations of abuse of public office.
Cllr Dhlamini’s lawyer Givemore Muvhiringi of Muvhiringi and Partners Legal Practitioners confirmed the arrest of his client.
He, however, refused to give more details surrounding the arrest saying he had not been given the go ahead by his client.
“He is charged with criminal abuse of duty in public office, but l cannot give you much details as of now as he hasn’t granted me the right,” said Muvhiringi.
“He will appear in court tomorrow for initial remand, but even myself ZACC refused to give me the facts surrounding his allegations but he was made to sign the statement yesterday night.”
Efforts to get a comment from the ZACC team that travelled from Harare to make the arrest on Saturday evening were fruitless.
According to council officials, Dhlamini has been at loggerheads with the Town Clerk Ronnie Dube and Housing Director Brian Nyamande for allegedly refusing to grant him a commercial stand.
“The tension started in December last year, and Dhlamini had just finalised letters to expel the two,” said the council official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“He wanted to be given either a commercial stand, or at least 2 000 square metres of land in low density on top of a commercial stand that he was given before selling it to raise funds for 2018 elections campaigns.”
Dube said he was out of town, and was not aware of his boss’ arrest, when sought for a comment
Dhlamini’s term as the mayor came after residents stormed council offices to block the incumbent Margaret Varley who had been selected by the party as the suitable candidate for the office.
The MDC Alliance made a clean sweep in the elections that saw all the eleven wards being led by it’s councillors.
Residents argued that they wanted to be led by Dhlamini as he understood their concerns and lived closer to their areas.
According to some councillors, Dhlamini’s ascension to the Mayoral post was never approved by the party’s leadership.