Vakayi Douglas Chikwekwe

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Vakayi Douglas Chikwekwe
Occupation
  • Magistrate
Known forFormer Harare magistrate, Gweru City Council.

Vakayi Douglas Chikwekwe is a former Zimbabwean magistrate. He is also an author. In 2019, he was made Acting Gweru Town Clerk, being promoted from Chamber Secretary.

Personal Details

No information could be found on his age, place of birth, or family.

School / Education

No information could be found on his Junior or High School, or any tertiary education.

Service

Before his retirement as Harare provincial magistrate, Chikwekwe was the longest serving provincial magistrate for Harare after spending more than three years in that office. He was credited with being a key figure in ensuring the survival of the lower courts and clearing a huge backlog of cases.[1]

Books

  • An Introduction to the Legal System of Zimbabwe (2016)

Events

In 2015, Chikwekwe assaulted one of his subordinates Rare Saidi, a court recorder who was working under the Clerk of Court at Rotten Row magistrate’s court, after he found him in a room he had barred staff from using.

It was reported that Chikwekwe assaulted Saidi with fists before stabbing him on top of his eye with the tip of a ballpoint pen. Saidi later filed assault charges against him at Harare Central police and was referred to Parirenyatwa Hospital for treatment.[2] Gweru Mayor Josiah Makombe handed Town Clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza her suspension letter on 14 October 2019. A special council meeting was then held to deliberate on the development. Makombe said the councillors had unanimously upheld the suspension.

Gweru council is dominated by MDC councillors and Makombe is that party’s Midlands provincial chairperson, while Gwatipedza is understood to be sympathetic to the ruling Zanu PF. Vimbai Chingwaramusee, Gweru council spokesperson, said that chamber secretary Vakai Douglas Chikwekwe is now the acting town clerk. [3]

On 17 October, Minister July Moyo said he was not briefed about the suspension of Gweru town clerk Ms Elizabeth Gwatipedza by the MDC-Alliance-led council. In an interview, Minister Moyo said he would look into the issue as a matter of urgency to ensure service delivery was not affected. “About the suspension of Gweru town clerk, I’m not aware of it, I wasn’t briefed about this alleged suspension and I’m going to look into it,” he said.

The suspension, without pay, was announced 15 October by Gweru Mayor Councillor Josiah Makombe. Mr Vakayi Douglas Chikwekwe, had assumed the post of Gweru town clerk on an interim basis. However he in turn is allegeded to have looted more than 4 500 litres of fuel from the cash strapped local authority worth over $70 000. A letter dated 15 September written to Mr Chikwekwe by Ms Gwatipedza alleging that he committed 84 counts of fuel theft after claiming more fuel than what he was entitled to. [4]

A board of inquiry was to receive Elizabeth Gwatipedza, 30 October 2019 to hear her testimony into the allegations leading to her 15 October 2019 suspension. The allegations include

  • failure to co-ordinate, monitor and supervise all departments resulting in employees working in silos which consequently affected service delivery.
  • negligence of duty which resulted in council being prejudiced financially.
  • contravention of the Public Procurement and Debt Management Act.
  • continuously exhibiting inconsistency in the discharge of her duties.

Mr Vakayi Douglas Chikwekwe, assumed the post of acting Town Clerk. However, there are allegations he looted more than 4 500 litres of fuel worth over $70 000 from the cash strapped local authority. In a letter dated 15 September, written to Mr Chikwekwe by Ms Gwatipedza it is alleged that he committed 84 counts of fuel theft after claiming more fuel than what he was entitled to. It also emerged that Ms Gwatipedza was in the process of suspending him for contravening Section 4 (d) (Theft or Fraud) of the Labour Act SI15 of 2006 when she was suspended on allegations of mismanagement and incompetence. [5]

References

  1. Tarisai Machakaire, An ode to provincial magistrate Chikwekwe, Daily News, published: December 4, 2016, retrieved: June 28, 2017
  2. Senior Harare magistrate runs amok, stabs subordinate on the eye, NewZimbabwe.com, published: November 18, 2015, retrieved: June 28, 2017
  3. Gweru councillors endorse town clerk’s suspension, Newsday, Published: 17 October 2019, Retrieved: 26 March 2020
  4. Minister in the dark on town clerk’s suspension, The Herald, Published: 17 October 2019, Retrieved: 26 March 2020
  5. Gweru Town Clerk’s hearing begins, The Chronicle, Published: 29 October 2019, Retrieved: 26 March 2020