LIVINGSTONE City Mayor Milford Maambo has gone on forced leave to pave way for investigations in a matter involving the alleged illegal acquisition of 18 plots for him and some Livingstone City Council (LCC) management employees.
Mr Maambo has however denied being suspended from his party the United Party for National Development (UPND) as Livingstone constituency chairperson because he had not received any formal communication.
But when contacted for comment, UPND spokesperson Neto Halwabala confirmed that Mr Maambo was suspended and served with a letter as constituency chairperson following allegations leveled against him by the Council.
Mr Halwabala said his party did not want to condone any conduct that was likely to compromise the fight against corruption by any senior party official.
“We as UPND made a painful and bold decision to suspend Mr Maambo as our constituency chairperson based on the serious allegations leveled against him by the Livingstone City Council,” Mr Halwabala said.
He said he had decided to go on leave as city mayor on moral grounds in order to facilitate for smooth investigations by the appointed adhoc committee.
“Morally speaking, when there is this kind of thing, you have to pave way for people in a free environment and I thought the best way do this was for me to agree to go on leave,” Mr Maambo said.
Mr Maambo said he would give the adhoc committee maximum corporation in order for this matter to come to a logical conclusion.
He said during his leave from office, Deputy Mayor Fred Sikazwe from the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) would act in his capacity as city mayor.
And Mr Sikazwe said the current position of the council was that the adhoc committee was given a task to investigate the matter in 21 days and report back and that the mayor was instantly told to go on leave after Tuesday’s meeting and not as earlier announced by the council spokesperson Mr Sikanyika that no action was taken to the mayor until after 30 days.
Mr Sikazwe said it was un-fortunate that the media were misled immediately after the special council meeting where resolutions were made and agreed upon by the councilors and the affected parties.
“So the correct position is that is that an adhoc committee was formed and they have been given 21 days in which to present their report back to the special full council meeting.
“In the meantime, the mayor Mr Maambo has gone on leave to facilitate for investigations into the matter,” Mr Sikazwe said.
He said Mr Maambo’s leave was effective September 1, 2015 until when the matter would be concluded.