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Council officials with court cases barred from work – July Moyo

By Farai Matebvu | Masvingo Mirror |

The Minister of Local Government and Public Works, July Moyo has with immediate effect barred all council officials with pending criminal court cases from coming to work until they are cleared.

He said that his action is in response to the increase in the number of senior council officials on charges related to abuse of office. He said that the presence of such employees at the workplace causes mixed reactions in the public.

His directive is contained in a memo dated February 22, 2022 which is in the hands of The Mirror and directed to all mayors and chairpersons and copied to town secretaries, clerks and chief executive officers of councils.

“My office has always maintained the unwavering stance that in the public interest and a good corporate governance practice, any official who has a matter pending before the courts may not be allowed to continue with their day to day operations in council until they have been acquitted by the same courts,” reads the letter.

“The surge in arrests of senior council employees on charges relating to criminal abuse of office among others has sent mixed reactions to the public that they are employed to serve.

“I here direct all local authorities in terms of section 313 of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) and section 155 of the Rural District Councils Act to ensure that all employees whose cases have not been concluded by the courts are barred from reporting for duty until they have been acquitted,” Moyo wrote.

Buhera Residents Network Trust Coordinator Leonard Mabasa told The Mirror that they welcome the development as it instills confidence in the governance of local authorities.

“It is a welcome development. It was long overdue. It sends clear messages to public officials that public funds are meant to help residents rather than individuals,” said Mabasa.