GWERU mayor, Hamutendi Kombayi, is a troubled man following reports that one of his workers committed suicide in disgruntlement over an outstanding salary bill. The tragedy came as the businessman battles efforts by his MDC-T party to force him out of Town House.
The employee, Joseph Dominic Gowo, who was based at Kombayi's Lalapanzi gold mine allegedly, committed suicide on Sunday. Gowo is said to have jumped from a balcony at Kombayi's Midlands Hotel in central Gweru to protest non-payment of his wages.
But Kombayi has since denied Govo committed suicide over salaries saying he had not been feeling well for quite some time and "had since stopped taking his medication." In December last year, Kombayi was ordered by MDC-T to relinquish his mayoral seat after he was accused of defying a party directive to second the preferred candidate for the post, Charles Chikozho.
Chikozho is a Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) paralegal officer based in Gweru. Kombayi was given up to 31 December to resign from the mayoral office and revert to being a mere councillor, an order he is yet to follow. And, as his troubles appeared to mount, Kombayi on Tuesday posted on his Facebook account further denying that his worker committed suicide over non-payment of salary.
He wrote: "S*** happens but my worker did not take his life due to labour issue, he was just seek (sic) and had been for two years."
Sources say Kombayi last week travelled sought an audience with MDC-T president, Morgan Tsvangirai in Harare in a bid to get the party to reverse the decision for him to leave the mayoral seat.
The elegant Gweru Town House ... Kombayi is refusing to step down as Mayor