MASVINGO – Former Masvingo mayor Femias Chakabuda’s bid to get his top-of-the-range Mercedes Benz as a golden handshake has been blocked by Local Government minister, Ignatius Chombo.
According to the latest minutes of the council meeting, Chombo turned down a request by the current council to offer Chakabuda an exit package of his official vehicle and a residential stand, among other things.
In the full council meeting, Adolf Gusha, the Masvingo town clerk, said: “Council made a resolution and requested to the minister to offer the former mayor an exit package but the minister turned it down and has since sent a letter to us and the former mayor.”
Although reasons for the minister turning down the offer were not clear, insiders said an acrimonious labour dispute had been cited.
Chakabuda’s council was embroiled in an acrimonious labour dispute with workers which saw 43 council vehicles including his Merc attached by the deputy sheriff after they failed to settle a $3,6 million debt owed to workers.
The insiders said Chombo questioned how the city council would be able to offer the ex-mayor his official Merc when it is still attached by the deputy sheriff.
Efforts to get a comment from Chombo were fruitless but Chakabuda said he respects the minister’s decision.
“I have not yet received official communication from anyone but I am aware of that and I have no heavy feelings for anyone,” Chakabuda said. “It is the discretion of the minister to accept a request or turn it down and I respect his decision.”
Chakabuda becomes the only ex-mayor who has failed to get a golden handshake after serving out his term.
Tedious Chimombe, ex-Gweru mayor was rewarded with a Toyota Prado as part of his golden handshake while his Bulawayo counterpart, Thaba Moyo got his luxury Chrysler 2.0l CRO Doge Journey, as part of his exit package.