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BPRA takes Chombo to court once again
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA)
February 28, 2013

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA), has once again dragged Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo to court after he appointed two more special interest councillors in Bulawayo. The association, through its Ward 13 Chairperson, Alick Gumede, on Tuesday 26 February 2013 filed an urgent High Court chamber application seeking to block the appointment of two special interest councillors named as Sipiwe Ncube and Gacha Mazitulela. Minister Chombo appointed the two in letters dated 22 February 2013. Barely a month ago, the association, through its Secretary for People Living with Disabilities in Ward 13 successfully barred the swearing-in of another special interest councillor, Fidelis Fengu.

Alick Gumede, under the aegis of BPRA, through lawyer Job Sibanda argues in the application that the "appointments were grossly irregular as to defy common sense in that the very life of council to which they have been appointed comes to an end in the next month or so." He further argues that: "such appointments shall not benefit council, but shall only drain the financial resources of the council to which applicant is a contributor by virtue of him being a ratepayer."

BPRA has previously expressed concerns that the Urban Council's Act (Chapter 29:15) invests too much power in the Minister of Local Government, allowing him too much leeway to undemocratically dictate the conduct of local authorities without consulting residents. It is BPRA's contention that special interest councillors should not be imposed by a Minister, but should be selected by the residents in a democratic manner. As such BPRA rejects the appointment of Sipiwe Ncube and Gacha Mazitulela as special interest councillors as they were imposed by Minister Chombo without consultation of residents.

Visit the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association fact sheet

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