By Nyasha Chuma
CHEGUTU Town Clerk Alex Mandigo has been suspended amid reports that he was being victimised for being “too vocal” in a fight over a special mining grant and an attempt to grab residential stands by Zanu PF bigwigs, Zim Morning Post can reveal.
Officially, a letter dated March 9 2021 and seen by Zim Morning Post states that Mandigo will be on full salary and benefits to pave way for investigations in various service delivery concerns and alleged incompetence according to Section 139 (a) of the Urban Councils Act.
However, sources say Mandigo was caught between the raging fight to dubiously legitimise a ‘phoney’ special mining grant at David Whitehead and his move to stop legislator Dexter Nduna and Zanu PF youth leader Vengai Musengi ’s attempt to turn low density residential stands into a high density area.
It is further alleged that the suspension is part of a Zanu PF ploy’s to control urban councils so they can do a service delivery blitz.
“The suspension has a third hand, the ruling part was not amused by Mandigo’s involvement in the David Whitehead gold claim dispute which is being led by minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, Vengi Musengi and Nduna,” said our inside source who preferred anonymity.
“Mandigo tried to block Nduna on the David whitehead residential stands grab. He has just exposed that the main issue is about the stands at David Whitehead. Nduna wants to turn a low density area into high density. It makes the whole case very unappealing to me,” added the source.
In 2019, Ziyambi is alleged to have formed a synergy with Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial youth leader Vengai Musengi and others, forming Tusk Mining Syndicate, which made a calculated move to forcibly elbow out Zuvarabuda Empowerment Trust, which had legitimately been granted a mining grant at David Whitehead.
Mandigo’s voicing out did not go well with Ziyambi and those in the corridors of power, it was revealed.
Mandigo refused to comment over the matter but acknowledged receipt of the suspension letter.
Debating in Parliament on Thursday on a report on lack of service delivery in Chitungwiza, Nduna appeared to tear into Mandigo accusing him of being part of the accounting officers who were abusing office for their own personal interests.
“I want to mirror what is happening in Chitungwiza to what is happening in Chegutu. In 2009, 400 people died because of cholera and typhoid. So the issue of sewer and water reticulation can be solved by monies coming from devolution funds, but the monies are going into a bottomless pit in these municipalities including Chitungwiza,” he said.
“There is gross abuse by the accounting officers who are the town clerks. You need to deal with the town clerk’s office before you can hand over money from Government. I want to say, arising from this debate, that the Second Republic does not hunt with the neighbor’s dogs, they need to remove what has been entrenched which has caused a lot of fraudulent activities and acrimony in the people residing in the local authorities,” Nduna continued.
“The problems that we see today have been championed by the historic issues of square plugs in round holes. We have town clerks and C.E.O’s who are not supposed to be in places of authority. The people of Chegutu West have spoken with one voice and fired the town clerk yesterday who has been there for a very long time, who is impeding the issue of residential stands allocation and infrastructural development.”
Chegutu town councillors met on Thursday to deliberate on a possible suspension of council management due to alleged incompetence, abuse of office and corruption.