Bus and Taxi Drivers Association of Zambia vice president Boniface Suntile and his treasurer general George Kamwimbe have been suspended from their positions for alleged partisan involvement and financial abuse respectively but the duo has declared that the suspensions are unlawful and cannot be recognised.
Speaking to the Daily Nation in Kabwe the duo accused the association president Tresphord Mwila of not giving them chance to be heard and that the action was against natural justice.
Mr. Suntile said he was being victimised because of his individual decision to support the UPND while Mr. Kamwimbe denied any abuse of financial resources and challenged Mr. Mwila to prove the allegations.
In a letter dated 9th December, 2014 and signed by Mr. Mwila, Mr. Suntile is alleged to have abused his position by publicly declaring that the BTDAZ had resolved to campaign for UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema in next week’s presidential election.
The letter stated that this was contrary to the association’s policy of non-partisanship.
Mr. Suntile is also accused of commandeering other people’s buses to deliver building materials to his plot.
“It is regrettable that the documental, recorded and oral submissions that were submitted by representatives tie you to activities that are not in the best interest of the association and its general members. I am therefore left with no option but to charge you with the following offences and suspend you with immediate effect in accordance with chapter 44 (ii) of the disciplinary rules and regulation 2013 of the Bus and Taxi Drivers Association of Zambia,” reads the letter to Mr. Suntile in part.
But both leaders said Mr. Mwila had no powers to write them suspension letters and that they were not given any chance to exculpate themselves. They argued that they had the right to support a political party of their choice.
“I don’t hold any position in any party but Mr. Mwila is a PF chairman for intercity branch. We have never raised any dust over this but why does he want to be personal over my individual decision?” Mr. Suntile said.
He also denied the allegation of commandeering other people’s buses to deliver his building materials, insisting that it was his buses that he was using for such an exercise.
Both leaders have been given 48hrs in which to surrender the properties belonging to the association as further action awaits them.
Meanwhile, UPND Central Province youth leader Milner Mwanakampwe has denied ever working with the duo but admitted that he had met the association’s secretary general Sydney Mbewe in his individual capacity and as a ‘‘brother’’.