HARARE – The MDC-T party led by Thokozani Khupe has recalled eight councillors in Bulawayo, four in Marondera and the mayor of Gwanda in a fresh purge that will trigger by-elections.
The MDC-T earlier this week expelled 11 councillors in Harare and three in Beitbridge.
The Supreme Court in March this year declared that the MDC Alliance was a loose coalition of parties, including the MDC-T which was led by Nelson Chamisa. The court said Chamisa – who stood as MDC Alliance leader at the last election – unlawfully seized leadership of the MDC-T in February 2018, and restored Khupe as interim leader.
Khupe, who took part in the elections as leader of the MDC-T party, has used the court ruling to claim leadership of over 100 MDC Alliance MPs and Senators as well as hundreds of councillors countrywide. Those who have rejected her leadership are being recalled.
The MDC Alliance says the recalls are “blatant electoral theft.”
Gwanda mayor Jastone Mazhale of Ward 7 and Marondera mayor Chengetai Marowa are the latest to be recalled after both Beitbridge and Harare lost their mayors.
Local Government Minister July Moyo on September 11 wrote to the Bulawayo Town Clerk informing him that councillors Clayton Zana of Ward 19, Tinevimbo Maphosa (Ward 21), Ernest Rafamoyo (Ward 20), Donald Mabuto (Ward 9), Tinashe Kambarami (Ward 3), Lillian Mlilo (Ward 12), Concillia Mlalazi (Ward 18) and Norman Hlabano of Ward 26 had been recalled by the MDC-T.
“There can be no doubt that the recalls instigated by Zanu PF and their proxies are illegal and unconstitutional. We believe in the inviolability of people’s votes and strongly condemn the attempt to subvert the will of the people through elite pacts and the imposition of a surrogate opposition,” MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said this week.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has declared that by-elections to fill vacant local authority and parliamentary seats will be held before December 5. The elections body has given treasury a budget of US$18 million.