Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
LOCAL Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere is not in contempt of court over his handling of the matter involving suspended Gweru mayor Hamutendi Kombayi and other 11 councillors, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
Responding to a parliamentary question by Mkoba MP, Amos Chibaya, if the government had plans to discipline Kasukuwere over his alleged contempt of court, Mnangagwa said Kasukuwere’s hands were clean.
“The question by the Hon Member stems from the Provisional Order that was granted by the High Court of Zimbabwe sitting in Bulawayo on October 1, 2015. The provisional order was granted as the consequence of the urgent chamber application by the Gweru councillors who were applicants in the matter, with the Minister of Local Government cited as one of the respondents.
“This was an urgent chamber application wherein the applicants sought the following temporary relief: That pending finalisation of this matter, all disciplinary proceedings against applicants that are pending before a tribunal appointed by first respondent are hereby stayed,” he said.
VP Mnangagwa said the judge did surely grant the provisional order, which in any event is temporary relief until confirmation of the matter.
He said the judge did not make any ruling or determination on the suspension of the councillors since that matter was not before him.
The VP said the provisional order was complied with as no disciplinary proceedings were instituted against the councillors.
“In fact, the respondent, who’s the Minister of Local Government, as a law abiding subject, also awaits the fate of the councillors’ application pending confirmation of the same or otherwise,” he said.
He said Cde Kasukuwere will not be arrested since there was no reason to do so.
“The Hon. Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing was never in defiance of the order of the court and therefore as government, we’ve no reason to be worried,” he said.
Recently, the councillors’ legal representative, Reginald Chidawanyika, confirmed that he had been instructed by his clients to apply to the High Court for a final order for them to be reinstated.