The Sunday News
Rutendo Nyeve, Sunday News Reporter
VICTORIA Falls Town Clerk, Mr Ronnie Dube was on Tuesday locked out of his office by members of the Hwange District Residents Association together with the ruling party’s War Veterans league, on allegations of corruption.
The two groups alleged that the Town Clerk was initially suspended by the city’s Mayor, Councillor Somvelo Dlamini but had resisted the suspension and kept on forcibly coming to the office, allegedly to get rid of evidence surrounding his corruption allegations.
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) had since been engaged to investigate the corruption allegations leveled against the Town Clerk.
Clr Dlamini confirmed the forced removal of the Town Clerk by the two groupings.
“Yesterday (Tuesday) a group of war veterans took the keys for the Town clerk’s office, ordered him to vacate and locked his office. They also put key blockers. He then handed over the keys to me,” he said.
Clr Dlamini revealed that Mr Dube had been suspended a month ago but continued to come to work.
“I suspended Mr Dube last month on allegations levelled against him for abuse of office. He has been forcibly getting into the office since then,” said the mayor.
While ZACC spokesperson, Commissioner John Makamure said he was unaware of the presence of ZACC at the Victoria Falls Municipal offices, Clr Dlamini confirmed that ZACC investigators had been conducting their investigations since Monday.
“ZACC is at our offices carrying out its investigations,” said Clr Dlamini.
Contacted for comment, Hwange District Residents Association Chairman Mr Hebert Ncube said they removed the Town Clerk from the office to allow the law to take its course.
“We suspect that there is massive looting in terms of land grab by the council officials yet nothing is being done that benefits the community. As we speak we have water problems. The Town Clerk was suspended by the Mayor and he is being investigated by law enforcements agents hence we think he continues to go to work in order to destroy the evidence,” said Mr Ncube.
Asked if their actions were legal and were the proper procedure, Mr Ncube said they had engaged stakeholders they deemed necessary before going to council.
This is not the first time that Clr Dlamini has suspended the Town Clerk, in April last year the mayor suspended Mr Dube accusing him of corruption, gross incompetence, abuse of office and causing the local authority to lose revenue.
However, a month later Victoria Falls councillors reversed the decision, ordering his reinstatement saying the suspension was unprocedural.
A week later ZACC then arrested Mr Dube on allegations of corruption, however the charges were withdrawn before plea, for lack of evidence.
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