Town Clerk suspension divides Gweru

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Gweru (The Times-New Ziana) – Gweru city’s resident and ratepayers associations are divided over the suspension of the Town Clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza early this week.

Gwatipedza, who joined Gweru from Redcliff in 2016, was issued a letter of suspension on Tuesday morning, in a development that left the residents associations deeply divided over the move.

Charles Mazorodze, director of Gweru Residents Forum, said the city of Gweru is facing a litany of challenges regarding service delivery, but there is need to strike a balance between political aggrandizement and purely administrative acumen.

“There are several milestones that the Town Clerk has managed to do and the mayor should have considered that before the suspension. Instead of (being) embroiled in fatal factions fights both at policy and management level, there is need to put differences aside and work toward improving the city.

“We will monitor the developments happening at the Town House as from now.”

But the Gweru United Progressive Residents and Development Association (GUPRADA) felt the move taken by council was correct, and could help improve service delivery in the city.

“It is not in our nature to celebrate the misery of a fellow human being, thus we are not celebrating her suspension but we join the rest of the progressive thinking residents of Gweru in applauding our councillors for taking this stance of suspending the Town Clerk.

“We believe the move is of a greater good as it set to usher in a new culture of doing things, aimed primarily at improving service delivery,” said Pastor David Chikore, GUPRADA director, said.

Pastor Chikore added that the suspension will allow a thorough investigation into allegations that were raised in the report submitted by the Commission of Inquiry.

Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA) president Connelia Selipiwe said the suspension was above board, considering the time she was given to respond to the allegations raised by the inquiry report.

“A lot of issues were raised in the report and she did not do anything about it. As an association we were worried of the silence as we also expect good service delivery since we encourage our members to demonstrate through paying rates.

“We expected her to act upon the issues that the city were facing, not to run the city as if everything is alright. We hope when she comes back she will be a changed person,” he said.

The suspended Town Clerk faces six allegations of mismanagement and gross incompetence.

Municipal authorities said Gwatipedza would be called to answer the allegations.

She has since confirmed receiving the suspension letter.

While the Town clerk is on suspension, former magistrate and Chamber Secretary Vakai Douglas Chikwekwe is the acting Town Clerk as stated in the Urban Councils Act.
The Times-New Ziana

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