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Councillors arrested for assaulting town clerk

By Robin Muchetu/ Sindisiwe Sibanda

Bulawayo Deputy Mayor Tinashe Kambarami and Ward Four councillor, Silas Chigora have been arrested for allegedly assaulting the city’s Town Clerk, Mr Christopher Dube during a fracas that ensued when they tried to forcibly remove him from his office last week.

Deputy Mayor, Clr Tinashe Kambarami
Deputy Mayor, Clr Tinashe Kambarami

The duo yesterday appeared before Bulawayo magistrate, Mr Franklin Mkwananzi, facing charges of assault. They were released on $100 bail and the matter remanded to 22 July.

Mr Mkwananzi also ordered the councillors to reside at their given addresses and not to interfere with witness until the matter is finalised.

The councillors were represented by Mr Maqhawe Mpofu of Mlaudzi and Partners.

The court heard that on Thursday last week at the council’s offices at the City Hall, Kambarami and Chigora unlawfully, with the intent of causing bodily harm to Mr Dube assaulted him with fists, open hands and booted feet all over the body despite the fact that there was a real risk or possibility of causing bodily harm.

It was heard that on the day, at about 2.30pm, Kambarami and Chigora approached the town clerk at his office at the City Hall with the intention to serve him with a letter of suspension from his official duties.

Bulawayo Town Clerk, Mr Christopher Dube
Bulawayo Town Clerk, Mr Christopher Dube

The accused persons were in the company of other councillors, Felix Mhaka, Clayton Zana, Tawanda Ruzive, Pilate Moyo, Lillian Moyo, Batirai Dube and Frank Jabangwe.

The court heard that during the process of serving Mr Dube, an argument ensued between the two parties as Mr Dube refused to be served with the suspension letter by the deputy mayor and his colleagues.

During the argument, Kambarami and Chigora allegedly teamed up and assaulted Mr Dube all over the body using fists, open hands and booted feet.

The other named councillors joined in, pushing and shoving Mr Dube out of his office before locking the door and inserting a key blocker.

Mr Dube sustained some injuries due to the assault and was referred to hospital where a medical report was compiled and can be produced in court as an exhibit.

Mr George Rufumoyo prosecuted. The suspension of Mr Dube has since been lifted by the Mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni. Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Cde July Moyo also condemned the councillors for failing to follow laid down procedures.

WATCH the drama and insults as Bulawayo Town Clerk is ejected from his office

Meanwhile, Ward Five Councillor Mhaka, who was allegedly attacked by some rouge youths and held hostage on Friday as tempered flared over the aborted suspension of Mr Dube said he did not report the matter to the police.

“I did not report the matter to the police, and I have resorted to dialogue, sooner or later this whole matter will be investigated. I managed to get my car keys but lost US$60 in the skirmishes,” he said yesterday.

Clr Mhaka was part of a group of councillors who had gathered to hold a special full council meeting to discuss Mr Dube’s issue on Friday.

Meanwhile, MDC-Alliance Bulawayo province spokesman Mr Swithern Chirowodza refused to comment on the behaviour of his party’s councillors in their attempt to suspend the town clerk.

However, the party’s national spokesperson Mr Daniel Molokele said they supported the return to normalcy in the city as evidenced by the reinstating of the town clerk. He promised to issue a comprehensive statement on the matter. Sunday News