FORMER Bulawayo’s Ward 24 councillor Arnold Batirai Dube, who was allegedly fired by the People’s Democratic Party after joining the Nelson Chamisa-led Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC), is expected to surrender a tablet and commissioner of oaths stamps that he was issued by the local authority for official use during his tenure in office as councillor.
Dube’s term of office was allegedly terminated after he ceased to be a member of the People’s Democratic Party. Ward 25 councillor Mzama Dube is the caretaker councillor for Ward 24.
According to the latest council minutes on April 6, 2022, the town clerk Christopher Dube received a letter from Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo notifying him of the termination of Dube’s contract as councillor for Ward 24.
The letter reads: “I wish to inform you that I am in receipt of a letter from the People’s Democratic Party stating that the following Councillor has ceased to be a member of the Party through automatic termination of their membership as they have since joined Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC): – Arnold Batirai Dube Ward 24.
“In terms of Section 278 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, as read with Section (1) (k), Ward 24 is now vacant. In terms of Section 121 of the Electoral Act, please proceed to inform the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of this vacancy”.
According to the minutes, at the time of the termination, Dube was in possession of a tablet and commissioner of oaths stamps that he had been issued for official use.
“The stamps would expire in 2023, having been issued in anticipation that Aldermen and Councillors would serve their full terms. The expiry of the stamps coincided with the end of the councilor’s term. In view of this it was prudent to withdraw the stamps.
“In terms of Section 6.3.2 of the ICT policy for Bulawayo City Council, “whether or not a dismissed individual receives their laptop, notebook, tablet etc, it shall be negotiated as per their exit package.
“Since there were no negotiations around an exit package for the Alderman and Councillors, Council had to decide. It will be recalled that Council (7th October, 2020) in considering a similar matter when other (8) eight councillors were recalled it had resolved that.
“That Alderman and Councillors whose terms of office have been terminated should continue using the tablets in their possession. That all stamps in their possession be withdrawn,” the minutes further read.
It was considered that while the other councillors who were the subject of the (7th October, 2020) decision were issued with tablets, two years before their recall, Dube’s tablet which was issued on November 3, 2021 was still fairly new.
During deliberations, Ward 6 Cllr Tawanda Ruzive argued that Dube’s issue was still before the courts and that a judgment had not yet been passed.
After it emerged that Dube’s matter was still before the courts Ward Five Cllr Felix Mhaka felt that only the commissioner of oaths stamps should be returned.
Deputy mayor Cllr Mlandu Ncube supported Cllr Mhaka’s submission adding that Dube should also be allowed to continue using the tablet in his possession.