BY BRENNA MATENDERE
GWERU councillors yesterday upheld the suspension of town clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza over allegations of sleeping on the wheel.
Mayor Josiah Makombe handed Gwatipedza the suspension letter on Monday evening and a special council meeting was held yesterday to deliberate on the development.
At a media briefing soon after the meeting, Makombe said the councillors had unanimously upheld the suspension.
“I gave a letter of suspension to our town clerk madam Gwatipedza on Monday. We are just coming from a meeting, special council meeting where the issue was deliberated. The councillors unanimously upheld the suspension. What this means is that town clerk Gwatipedza is now on suspension pending all the processes that are required by the law,” Makombe said.
“As councillors we were not happy with the service delivery our residents have been getting. It is either there is no water or your refuse has not been collected or you are moving in untrafficable roads. So we were not happy with the direction the city was taking.”
Makombe said if Gwatipedza is cleared of any wrongdoing she can come back and continue with her duties at council.
“This is just a suspension. So what it means is that when you are suspended you are supposed to be invited to answer to the charges. So hopefully madam Gwatipedza will be able to join us again after the processes,” Makombe said.
Gweru council is dominated by MDC councillors and Makombe is the opposition party’s Midlands provincial chairperson while Gwatipedza is understood to be sympathetic to the ruling Zanu PF.
However, the mayor stressed that the suspension had nothing to do with politics.
“We are sworn politicians, but our management is of employees who are chosen on merit. So let me hasten to say the suspension has nothing to do with politics. It’s purely about issues of the employer and employee,” he said.
Gwatipedza refused to comment on the suspension.
“I have no comment,” she told Southern Eye.
Vimbai Chingwaramusee, Gweru council spokesperson, told Southern Eye that chamber secretary Vakai Douglas Chikwekwe is now the acting town clerk.