BULAWAYO Deputy Mayor Councillor Gift Banda has resumed official council duties after the High Court ordered his immediate reinstatement because the decision to fire him was unreasonable

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BULAWAYO Deputy Mayor Councillor Gift Banda yesterday resumed his official council duties after the High Court ordered his immediate reinstatement saying the decision to fire him was unreasonable.
Clr Banda chaired a full council meeting in the absence of mayor, Clr Martin Moyo.

The council chamber’s public gallery was unusually full to capacity with members of Clr Banda’s MDC-T attending to celebrate his reinstatement.

However, the supporters at one point had to be rebuked by council officials when they clapped and whistled as Clr Banda made his way into the chambers, which is illegal according to council’s standing rules.

Clr Banda is the party’s Bulawayo provincial chairperson.

Before the meeting started, the local authority’s chamber secretary, Mrs Sikhangele Zhou explained to councillors and senior staff members in attendance that Clr Banda’s presence was necessitated by the court order.

“I am sure some of you are wondering what Clr Banda is doing here but it is because of a court order which we have distributed to all of you. I would like to congratulate Clr Banda and welcome him back to the local authority,” said Mrs Zhou.

In an interview after the meeting, Clr Banda said he was ecstatic that he was back to serve the people who voted him into office and the city as a whole.

“While I am happy to be back in office I must say that I have nothing personal against anyone and I have said all along that I hold no grudges at all. That is why during this whole process I never commented but let the courts do their work. For now it’s business as usual, that is to serve the Bulawayo community as Ward 5 councillor and the city’s deputy mayor,” said Clr Banda.

The recent ruling by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese followed an application by Clr Banda challenging his dismissal and seeking an order nullifying the decision of the independent tribunal which found him guilty of misconduct.

The deputy mayor was fired last year after a Government-instituted tribunal found him guilty of unproceduraly getting a lease for the construction of a social club at Hume Park but was exonerated on the purchase of a piece of land at Ascot race course for the construction of town houses.

Justice Makonese ruled that the decision of the tribunal was not grounded on any facts on the record of proceedings and the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Saviour Kasukuwere relied on misrepresentations to fire the deputy mayor.
Source – chronicle

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