BARELY a month after his election, Harare Mayor councillor Jacob Mafume has been recalled by his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), a development that is likely to result in a fresh poll.
The recall of Clr Mafume, a lackey of the troubled MDC-Alliance, comes as efforts to restore sanity in the corruption reeking councils that are led by the opposition gather pace across the nation. It also comes as the legitimate leader of the MDC-T Dr Thokozani Khupe recalled 11 councillors in Harare Council last week.
In a letter seen by The Herald, PDP secretary-general Benjamin Rukanda said Mafume has ceased to represent the interests of the party, and therefore the recall.
“Following the resolution of the national executive committee of our party held on September 12, 2020 we hereby notify your good office and also declare in terms of section 278 as read with section 129 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe that the following councillors cease to belong to the People’s Democratic Party,” reads part of the letter.
Apart from Clr Mafume, the other councillors who were elected under the PDP ticket, but are now deemed to have ceased to represent interests of the party are Bulawayo Ward 24 Clr Arnold Batirai Dube and Mutare ward 12 Clr Simon Chabuka.
The letter also affirms that PDP was a member of the MDC-Alliance which was formed in terms of the consultative agreement signed on August 5, 2017 for and on behalf of the party by Mr Tendai Biti.
The letter stated that under the agreement seven political parties entered into a pre-election agreement known as the Composite Political Agreement for purposes of conducting the 2018 elections.
“In terms of the said agreement the member parties retained their individual identities. Our party was the party to which these councillors belonged at the time of the 2018 elections,” reads the letter.
“The members listed have by operation of clause 6. 4 (a) of the Constitution of the People’s Democratic Party automatically terminated their membership of the said party.”
Attempts by the Biti faction in the PDP to block Clr Mafume’s recall hit a brick wall after Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo indicated in a letter that he recognised the Mr Rukanda faction led by Mrs Lucia Matibenga.
In the letter dated September 18, Minister Moyo said: “I refer to your undated letter which was received at my office. Your letter referred to is on behalf of your client, one Honourable Member of Parliament Settlement Chikwinya representing the People’s Democratic Party. I am not in receipt of any communication from Honourable Chikwinya.”
“I have since received communication through a letter from the office of the secretary general of the People’s Democratic Party whose address is No.6 Norbert House, corner Kwame Nkrumah and Harare Street.”
Minister Moyo said he has since acted as per his mandate in order to fulfil constitutional provisions.