Chitungwiza mayor-councillor battle drags on

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By Mary Taruvinga

Chitungwiza Mayor Lovemore Maiko has filed an urgent chamber application with the High Court seeking dismissal of litigation against him brought in by ward 13 councillor Kevin Mutimbanyoka.

Mutimbanyoka had approached the court challenging dismissal of George Makunde as the Town Clerk.

Maiko argued that four months have gone by and Mutimbanyoka has not made any efforts to have the matter set down for hearing, as such, the case should be dropped.

“I am informed that where the applicant has filed an answering affidavit in response to the respondent’s opposing affidavit, but has not within a month thereafter, set the matter down for hearing, the respondent on notice can make a chamber application to dismiss the matter for want of prosecution and the judge may order the matter to be dismissed with costs.

“In this case a period of four months has lapsed and the respondent (Mutimbanyoka) has neither filed heads of argument nor set the matter down for hearing. Respondent has been totally indifferent to the matter, a sure sign that he is no longer interested in obtaining relief in the matter,” said Maiko.

The councillor in October last year sought for a declaratur and a consequential relief against the decision by the Chitungwiza Municipality to suspend the then substantive town clerk George Makunde.

Mutimbanyoka argued that the setting up of a tribunal for against him was in contravention of the Urban Council’s Act.

But Maiko argued that there has been no progress regarding the case four months on.

“This ought to be stopped because it is contrary to the law,” he said in his founding affidavit.

In his case, he cited Chitungwiza Municipality, Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Mayor Maiko, David Duma and George Makunde as co-respondents.