Hamutendi Kombayi

Hamutendi Kombayi is a Zimbabwean politician and businessman. He is a member of the MDC-T and the current Mayor of Gweru.

Political Career

In February 2017, Hamutendi Kombayi was fired from his post as Gweru Mayor by Saviour Kasukuwere following recommendations made by an independent tribunal. He was fired together with Kenneth Sithole. The duo was among the 15 councillors who appeared before an independent tribunal headed by Isaac Muzenda for alleged gross misconduct, incompetence and mismanagement of council funds and affairs following their suspension in August 2015.

Kasukuwere said an independent tribunal had recommended that Kombayi and Sithole be discharged after they were found guilty of the charges they were facing. Other councillors, although they were found guilty were reengaged.[1]

Kombayi's charges included authorising payment of US$1 875 towards Morgan Tsvangirai's stay at Antelope Park and refusing to surrender his mayoral vehicle, a Mazda BT50, to council after he was suspended. When Kombayi and other councillors were suspended they appealed and won a High Court reprieve, which Kasukuwere defied. Instead, the minister appointed a three-member caretaker commission, led by Tsunga Mhangami, to run council affairs, pending the findings of the tribunal investigating the councillors.[2]

Following his suspension, Hamutendi Kombayi held onto the livery collar (mayoral gold chain) and a council vehicle. He was later ordered to return the vehicle and mayoral regalia by the High Court.[3]

After he was fired, Kombayi was replaced by Charles Chikozho. Kombayi approached the High Court which reinstated him as an ordinary councillor at the end of October 2017. Hamutendi Kombayi and Kenneth Sithole contested their dismissal from council and won their case after Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi set aside the decision of an independent tribunal that recommended their sacking. In his judgment dated October 31 2017, Mathonsi also ordered that Kombayi and Sithole should be reinstated as mayor and ordinary Councillor respectively. He said the two had been fired unjustifiably and ordered their immediate reinstatement without loss of allowances and benefits. He also ordered the government to pay the legal costs of the application.[4]

Kombayi attended his first council meeting after being reinstated by the High Court on 14 November 2017. He told The Chronicle that he was going to work with Chikozho for the development of Gweru. He said it did not matter whether or not he was the mayor.[5]

Election As Mayor 2022

On 11 January 2022, Hamutendi Kombayi was elected as Gweru mayor after beating Martin Chivhoko.

Kombayi replaced Josiah Makombe who was recalled as councillor by the MDC-T in December 2021. Kombayi got 11 votes against four won by Chivhoko.[6]

Arrest

On 10 March 2016, Hamutendi and town clerk Mr Daniel Matawu were arrested over allegations of theft, fraud and criminal abuse of office involving a total of US$1 850.[3]

Football Club

In 2016, Kombayi bankrolled Gweru United. In August 2016 the club failed to assemble a team to face FC Platinum Under-19 at Ascot Stadium for a Zifa Central Soccer League match.

Gweru United only managed to field eight players for the match and were beaten 1-4 by FC Platinum Under-19 team.[7]

References

  1. Patrick Chitumba, Gweru Mayor Kombayi fired, The Chronicle, Published: February 24, 2017, Retrieved: January 11, 2022
  2. Fired Gweru mayor Kombayi appeals at High Court, NewsDay, Published: March 7, 2017, Retrieved: January 11, 2022
  3. 3.0 3.1 Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Mayor, town clerk arrested, The Herald, Published: March 11, 2016, Retrieved: January 12, 2022
  4. Stephen Chadenga, Kombayi bounces back as Gweru mayor, NewsDay, Published: November 2, 2017, Retrieved: January 11, 2022
  5. Patrick Chitumba, Ex-Gweru Mayor Kombayi attends first council meeting, The Chronicle, Published: November 15, 2017, Retrieved: January 11, 2022
  6. Kombayi Beats Chamisa’s Ally, Bounces Back As Gweru Mayor, NewZimbabwe.com, Published: January 11, 2022, Retrieved: January 12, 2022
  7. Lovemore Zigara , Gweru United fails to raise team, The Chronicle, Published: August 16, 2016, Retrieved: January 12, 2022