By Costa Nkomo
SUSPECTED Zanu PF militant supporters Monday assaulted Chitungwiza mayor, Lovemore Maiko at council offices after serving the Town Clerk George Makunde with a suspension letter as the Zanu PF Mashonaland central provincial executive member faces abuse of office and incompetence.
Ahead of the aborted Chitungwiza full council meeting Monday, mayor Maiko recounted how he was assaulted by a gang led by some known land barons allegedly linked to Zanu PF.
“Today in the morning, we were anticipating to have our full council meeting. But before the full council meeting, I first went to council to deliver the Town Clerk’s suspension.
“The suspension has been necessitated by the Town Clerk’s failure to exercise functions of his office or his failure to ensure that he lives up to the standard and the performance of the council what we are expecting in terms of service delivery.
“So, as we were actually on our way to the council, we faced attack.”
Maiko, who had initially failed to present the suspension letter to Makunde due to the attack, went back in the company of the police.
“So the police accompanied us to the council offices where they wanted to carry out their investigations.
“In that process, I actually took the opportunity to go and present the suspension letter to the Town Clerk whom I found in the company of the Finance director acting, chamber secretary and the other director and I immediately handed him over the suspension and he ordered his subordinates to leave the office.
“He managed to go through the letter as he was trying to justify or defend himself. That’s when a well-known land baron called Bonface Manyonganise surfaced in the office in the company of other six guys. He first took a chair and threw it at me and started assaulting me.
“When I escaped from the office, the municipal police officers came to my rescue but they were overpowered and outnumbered. I was taken out of the town clerk’s office and I was thoroughly beaten up. The police officers who had come to carry out some investigations stopped them.”
Efforts to get a comment from the suspended town clerk were fruitless as his mobile could not go through.
In a later statement, the opposition the MDC deputy national spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka condemned the assault alleging that it was Zanu PF militia.