Ronnie Dube is the town clerk of Victoria Falls. He was suspended on April 28 2021 by mayor Somveli Dlamini on charges of gross incompetence, corruption, abuse of office and causing the local authority to lose revenue. He was however reinstated in June 2021 after a five-member commission of inquiry cleared him of the charges.

Career

Dube served as Tsholotsho Rural District CEO. Before his suspension in April 2021, Dube's contract had been renewed by another five years in October 2020 after receiving “praise for his work ethic.”

Under Dube, Victoria Falls was granted city status in December 2020 to become the first city in Matabeleland North and the second after Bulawayo in the whole southern region.

Dube served as Victoria Falls’ first chamber secretary between 2002 and 2005.

He joined the local authority on 1 December 2016 replacing Christopher Dube who became Bulawayo town clerk.

Dube also served as the Gwanda municipality chamber secretary, and left the Tsholotsho RDC following reports of corruption that were levelled against him.[1]

Salary

In June 2021, The Standard reported that Ronnie Dube's salary as Victoria Falls town clerk was a flat allowance of $200 000 subject to tax.[1]

Suspension

Ronnie Dube was suspended on April 28 2021 by mayor Somveli Dlamini on charges of gross incompetence, corruption, abuse of office and causing the local authority to lose revenue.

Dube was suspended without pay and other benefits pending investigations into charges against him.

Dlamini cited Section 139 (3) (a) of the Urban Council Act in denying Dube any salary and benefits as stated in the contract.

Councillors, however, revoked his suspension arguing the mayor acted unilaterally, but Local Government minister July Moyo in a follow-up memo dated May 14 2021 confirmed the suspension.

Moyo’s communication followed Dube’s arrest and subsequent release on $50 000 bail on criminal of abuse of office charges.

Dube was initially suspended without pay but Victoria Falls Councillors agreed that Dube’s suspension conditions be amended to allow suspension with a flat monthly allowance which was increased from $115 337, 50 to $200 000 subject to tax.[1]

About a year before suspending Dube, the mayor had recommended the ouster of Dube but the recommendation did not secure the support of other councillors.[2]

Reinstatement

Victoria Falls council set up a five-member commission of inquiry to investigate Dube on the charges he faced. The commission cleared Ronnie Dube of any wrongdoing.

The commission comprised of former Victoria Falls mayor Nkosilathi Jiyane, ex-councillors Vusumuzi Moyo and Million Moyo, Hwange Rural District Council chief executive Phindile Ncube and lawyer Elvis Mashindi. The commission of inquiry said:

"Following a week of investigations and deliberations on the issues brought before them, the commission recommended that Dube be cleared of all the charges since there was a paper trail of things being done above board."

Dube was arrested and charged with criminal abuse of office as a public officer for allegedly misleading the council in awarding a stand to a tour operator.

He was accused of influencing the awarding of a commercial stand to tourism operator, Shearwater in violation of tender procedures by misleading councillors. It is alleged that sometime on 8 September 2017 Dube received a request to purchase additional land behind stands 1381, 1382, 1383, 1384, 1385, 1386 and 943 from Ntokozo Mlilo, group human resources manager for Shearwater Adventures.[3]

Arrest

Dube was arrested and appeared in court facing criminal abuse of office charges. He was released on $50 000 bail.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 NQOBANI NDLOVU, Suspended town clerk gets windfall, The Standard, Published: June 20, 2021, Retrieved: June 30, 2021
  2. Leonard Ncube, Town Clerk Dube suspended, The Chronicle, Published: April 29, 2021, Retrieved: June 30, 2021
  3. Vic Falls Town Clerk Ronnie Dube reinstated, CITE, Published: June 25, 2021, Retrieved: June 30, 2021