BCC suspends council meetings

Vusumuzi Dube and Nqobile Tshili, Sunday News Reporters
BULAWAYO City Council has effectively dissolved council sittings with the Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube writing to councillors informing them that there are no more council meetings until after the holding of the harmonised elections.

According to the circular sent to councillors last Monday, Mr Dube informed them that his office had on 13 June received a directive from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to stop holding special council meetings as some incumbent councillors were now abusing special full council meetings for personal gain.

The ministry ordered that if any special full council meeting was to be held councillors should submit a full agenda of the meeting 10 days before the meeting.

“As you may all be aware the current term of all councillors expires on 29 July 2018. In this regard, my office has received complaints against some councillors who are abusing special full council meetings for personal gain. Accordingly, in terms of Section 155(2) of the Rural District Councils Act Chapter 29:13, I hereby direct all councils not to convene special full council meetings without my approval in an effort to preserve the scarce council financial resources.

In addition to the above, local authorities intending to sit for a special full council meeting must submit the full agenda of the same to my office at least 10 days before the scheduled day of the meeting, unless otherwise directed by this office,” reads part of the circular.

In an interview, Mr Dube justified the cancellation saying they had noted that it was not logical for them to hold any further committee meetings as this would have to culminate in a council meeting which would only be held after the expiry of the current councillors’ term in office.

“In the circular, the ministry has made it clear that council can no longer hold any unscheduled meetings and in terms of the Bulawayo City Council we had already held most committee meetings but for us to continue holding these meetings will not be logical as the decisions can only be held with a full council meeting, which in our case can only be held on the first Wednesday of the month and this will be after the harmonised elections. However, this is not to mean that council has been dissolved, it is just a decision that has been reached noting the time frames and council policy,” said Mr Dube.

Contacted for comment the city’s mayor, Councillor Martin Moyo confirmed receiving the communication from the town clerk saying while they had wanted to conclude council business with a special council meeting this was now impossible.

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