Umguza RDC councillors suspended for blocking ZACC investigations

By Innocent Nxumalo

FIVE councillors from Umguza Rural District Council have been suspended for allegedly frustrating investigations by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.

This comes as government is working on decisively dealing with corrupt elements that are weighing down on service delivery in various sectors of the economy.

The suspended councillors, who include the Chairperson, Councillor Alexander Mhlanga, allegedly worked in cahoots with Umguza RDC Chief Executive Officer Mr Collen Moyo who is facing criminal charges to frustrate ZACC investigations but that has since backfired.

A ZACC report states that the suspended councillors were not cooperating during the investigations, while some were giving false testimonies.

Delivering the investigation implementation matrix this Friday for the embattled Umguza RDC, which is engulfed by a number of corruption scandals, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Honourable Marian Chombo said government is not amused by the state of affairs at Umguza RDC.

“Following the conduct of an investigation and subsequent submission of a report on Umguza RDC and the institution of Disciplinary Hearing Committee on alleged criminal activities of the CEO, I hereby, in terms of Section 2 of the Local Government Laws Amendment Act, suspend you with immediate effect from exercising all your duties and roles as a Councillor for Umguza Rural District Council,” she said.

Guided by the ZACC report, Honourable Chombo also advised that the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Collen Moyo must be suspended again pending thorough investigations, while the District Development Coordinator and other senior council officials are charged for misguiding councillors throughout the investigations.

“The DDC must be suspended for ill advising on the institution of the disciplinary committee… Further investigations must be instituted on the demand for bribes by the Human Resources and Administration Officer,” she said.

The remaining councillors convened and elected Councilor Johannes Sibanda as the new interim Council Chairperson.