By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
FORMER Chinhoyi executive mayor, Faber Chidarikire has written to the cash-strapped Chinhoyi Municipality demanding for the local council to award him a golden handshake including a house, vehicle and three property stands, and a waiver not to pay council rates.
Chidarikire, who also served as long-time Mashonaland West provincial governor under deposed late former president Robert Mugabe, also requested the broke municipality to grant him exemption from paying council rates and other related tariffs.
Chamber secretary, Abel Gotora presented the request to a full council Thursday.
In the letter to the local council, Chidarikire wrote; “I am Honourable Faber Chidarikire. I am requesting council to consider payment of benefits that were or are associated with the office of mayor, as you may recall l was ceremonial mayor of Chinhoyi between 1991 and 1995.
“Thereafter, l served as executive mayor of Chinhoyi between 1995 to 1999. I did not receive any benefits at the expiry of my term.”
He added: “I am advised that my colleagues who held the same position were given the following benefits, namely; a residential stand, commercial stand, industrial stand, given council accommodation they were occupying. At the material time, l was residing in my own house.
“Exemption from paying rates and other bills, and a council vehicle. I, therefore, request that council considers payment of and award of above-mentioned benefits for my term as mayor of Chinhoyi.”
During Thursday’s full council meeting, town clerk Maxwell Kaitano advised councillors the onus, either to grant or deny Chidarikire the gratuity, lay with Local Government Minister July Moyo.
“If we agree to this request what then happens, in terms of the Urban Councils Act, is to write to the minister because he is the one who directs us as to what benefits accrue to him,” said Kaitano.
Zanu PF Ward 15 councillor, Innocent Mangwanya moved a motion to have the matter escalated to the parent ministry.
Following Mangwanya’s proposal, the councillors resolved to push for payment of Chidarikire’s golden handshake.
Meanwhile, the Local Government Minister Moyo has directed Chinhoyi Municipality to dish out property stands to the former mayor, Claudius Nyamhondoro (MDC Alliance) and his then deputy Willie Nyambe, who were unceremoniously fired from the local council at the height of purges by then Local Government Minister, Ignatius Chombo.
At Thursday’s full council meeting, chamber secretary Abel Gotora notified councillors of the latest position regarding the ousted city fathers, who left the local council empty-handed.
Gotora told the house, Minister Moyo had argued Nyamhondoro and his MDC Alliance counterparts were entitled to their benefits as they were still councillors during the time of their removal until the 2013 elections were conducted.
“Therefore, council must allocate them stands using a circular which was used during the tenure of their office,” reads part of the letter from Minister Moyo’s office.
Chombo was removed as a government minister in 2017 following the removal of Mugabe from office in a military-assisted coup. Mugabe was replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa.