By Vusumuzi Dube
Former Bulawayo Deputy Mayor, Mr Tinashe Kambarami continues to haunt the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) after he recently filed court papers challenging his removal from the local authority.
In June, Mr Kambarami was in the eye of a storm when he turned up at a full council meeting demanding that he be recognised as the Deputy Mayor following his acquittal by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had reinstated the former Ward Three councillor as Deputy Mayor in May but the ruling was of no effect as he was recalled by his parent party, the MDC-T.
The former Deputy Mayor had to be ejected from the chambers by security, with the Mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni labelling him an intruder. According to a council confidential report, Mr Kambarami has since approached the High Court challenging his dismissal where BCC is named as the first respondent with the other respondent being the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.
“The city’s solicitor had written to his lawyers explaining council’s position and that he should resolve the issue with his political party and the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, there was no response to this letter and no other attempt by Mr Kambarami to attend council meetings and it was assumed that he was in agreement with the council’s interpretation. However, he had since approached the High Court challenging the expulsion and the subsequent declaration of a vacancy in Ward Three. The City of Bulawayo was cited as the first respondent and the order sought that council bear the costs of the court application,” reads the report.
The local authority, however, argued that they were unfairly included in the suit as they had nothing to do with the court application nullifying Mr Kambarami’s election at the High Court, his expulsion by his party and the subsequent declaration of a vacancy in ward three.
“What was quite disturbing was that he had cited council as first respondent and was also seeking costs against council. Applicant admitted that the Minister of Local Government and Public Works’ letter triggered the events leading to his current position. It therefore, followed that council was simply implementing an instruction from the Minister and should therefore, not be penalised for that. He (Mr Kambarami) seemed to blame council for refusing him to be reinstated firstly after noting his appeal and when the appeal had been declared in his favour,” reads the report.
The local authority revealed that it was now in a catch-22 situation as it was being forced to oppose an application it had no jurisdiction to as failure to do this and the order was granted in default it would be an admission of wrong doing.
“However, our lawyers had since contacted Mr Kambarami’s lawyers on the issue. They had promised to amend their draft order and remove the offending paragraph, we, however, had not received their written undertaking nor the amendment of the draft order. It was therefore, recommended that in the event that the order is not amended, council should oppose the matter and in particular the order of costs and set the record (straight),” reads the report. The Sunday News