Tuesday 2019-09-17

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CITY COUNCIL ROCKED BY ANOTHER MOTION ON MHLONGO

By Bongumusa Simelane | 2019-09-12

THE Municipal Council of Mbabane has been rocked by another motion moved by councillors who want under-fire CEO Gideon Mhlongo to appoint an Adhoc Committee to investigate the issue of three cows that are said to have been bought by the council and were to be presented to the country’s authorities.

This was revealed by one of the councillors, who said means of getting the CEO to take action pertaining this matter has been met with fire as Mhlongo is said to have threatened the councillors with section 27.

This sections states that, if there are councillors who want to cause maladministration the CEO should report those to the Council and then to the minister of housing and urban development.

The councillors said what is far worse is that the very same person who is threatening them with section 27 is not even part of the council, as they insist that he does not have a contract.

“Mhlongo is the one who is causing the maladministration as he does not have a contract and it surprises us that how on earth can someone threaten his employers because we are the ones who are Mhlongo’s employers,” said the councillor.  The councillors argue that they just want simple information, but Mhlongo is busy threatening them for no reason as this is an issue of concern. 

The three cows that are said to be kept at Ngwenya Town Board pound have been kept for a year now, attracting a bill that is close to E200 000 in one year. However, it is said an arrangement was made with Ngwenya Town Board not to pay for keeping them.

These cows were purchased last year in or around August 6.

It also transpired that even the council does not know the cattle, but the only people who have clear knowledge are the CEO and the Internal and Public Relations Officer Lucky Tsabedze. They are said to have gone to Ludzidzini on numerous occasions to present the cows but returned with them.

Mhlongo is alleged to have threatened to impose or apply section 27 after the councillors asked that since the matter is of paramount importance and urgency it should be addressed as such because it cannot wait for the ordinary council meeting.

    “We request that a notice be issued in terms of Clause 12.1 (ii) of the council rules of Procedure for a special meeting to be held on 11 September 2019 at 17:30 or on a date to be determined by the Chief Executive Officer,” the councillors said in a letter.

In a letter from the CEO to Musa Dlamini, who is Ward 2 councillor, the CEO states that there was a serious omission on the meeting form as the approved form needs councillors requesting a special meeting to advise council if they had been advised by management whether or not the matter justifies the convening of a special meeting.

“For the above reason, the meeting cannot be called as it would mean the office having to escalate the matter to prepare a section 27 report, which we believe is not necessary as the issue can be quickly corrected,” reads part of Mhlongo’s letter.

 Mhlongo’s contract case, which has been a thorny issue among ratepayers, zone leaders and street vendors is expected in the Supreme Court today.

Mhlongo did not answer his phone when contacted last night and he did not reply to text messages sent to him. Council IPRO Lucky Tsabedze said he did not know anything about the matter. He asked that the documents in question be sent to him.

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