Political pressure group guns for Bulawayo Deputy mayor

Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
A POLITICAL pressure group, 1893 Mthwakazi Restoration Movement Trust, has approached the High Court seeking an order nullifying the election of Bulawayo deputy mayor Councillor Tinashe Kambarami as ward councillor saying he is a convict.

1893 Mthwakazi Restoration Movement Trust, through its lawyer Mr Godfrey Nyoni of Moyo and Nyoni Legal Practitioners, filed a court application at the Bulawayo High Court citing Clr Kambarami, the Bulawayo City Council, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and MDC as respondents.

The organisation wants an order declaring Cllr Kambarami’s nomination and subsequent election as councillor for Ward 3 in Bulawayo null and void on the basis that he was convicted for stealing an extension cord from an electrician he had hired to do manual work at his offices.

In her founding affidavit, Ms Dorothy Ndlovu, who is the applicant’s secretary, said the application is premised on the provisions of the Electoral Act which disqualify a convicted person from being nominated as a candidate for council elections.

“It has come to our attention as an organisation that the first respondent (Clr Kambarami) has a criminal record and should not have submitted his nomination papers to Zec. He was charged and convicted of theft on July 27, 2018 under case number CRB1981/18,” she said.

Ms Ndlovu said in terms of section 119 (2) (e) of the Electoral Act, Clr Kambarami, by virtue of his conviction, was supposed to have been disqualified from contesting the elections.

“It is important to note that Kambarami was convicted on his own plea of guilty to theft. It is common cause that theft is a crime that involves dishonesty. The first respondent was therefore supposed to be disqualified for nomination as a candidate for the elections and his subsequent election to the post of deputy mayor for the City of Bulawayo was a nullity right from the onset,” she said.

Ms Ndlovu said the law disqualified Kambarami and whatever then happened thereafter was not in terms of the law.

She said Clr Kambarami failed to disclose his criminal record to Zec prior to his nomination in the run up to the July 30 harmonised elections.

“As an organisation we could not sit back and watch an illegality being perpetuated. We believe and rightly so, that it was and is our duty to seek that this clear illegality be corrected. The first respondent’s election ought to be set aside,” she said.

Ms Ndlovu said Clr Kambarami was given a chance to voluntarily relinquish his posts as councillor and deputy mayor and he declined.

Clr Kambarami was in July convicted of theft by Bulawayo provincial magistrate, Ms Sharon Rosemani.

He was fined $80 or 18 days in prison for stealing an extension cord from an electrician he had hired to work at his offices.

He had been given up to the end of July to pay the fine but defaulted resulting in a warrant of arrest being issued against him.

Clr Kambarami then paid the fine on August 15.

According to court papers, on August 1 last year, Clr Kambarami (32) engaged the complainant, Mr Washington Chirikuudzi (68), to do some manual work at his business offices.

Clr Kambarami then asked the complainant to leave his tools at his offices inside a safe before knocking off.

When the complainant returned the following morning, he discovered that his extension cord was missing. When Mr Chirikuudzi inquired about the whereabouts of his cable, Clr Kambarami admitted that he took it and promised to return it.

However, Clr Kambarami did not return the cable despite pleas from the complainant.

Mr Chirikuudzi got fed up with Clr Kambarami’s excuses and reported the matter to the police leading to the deputy mayor’s arrest. The extension cord measuring 30 metres was not recovered.

Clr Kambarami was elected Councillor for Ward Three in the July 30 harmonised elections after trouncing former Bulawayo mayor Mr Martin Moyo in the party’s primaries.

He was elected deputy mayor in September after beating his closest rival Clr Mlandu Ncube of Ward One.


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