via Gweru mayor defies party directive January 1, 2014 by Stephen Chadenga NewsDay
GWERU mayor Hamutendi Kombayi, who was recently ordered by his MDC-T party to resign the mayoral seat and revert to being an ordinary councillor, had not tendered his resignation by yesterday’s set deadline.
The MDC-T national council reached a decision to expel Kombayi after he and four other councillors defied a directive to second the party’s preferred candidate for the mayoral post, Charles Chikozho, a Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions official.
However, Kombayi was given some relief from expulsion on condition that he relinquished the mayoral post by yesterday.
The letter, signed by MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti, ordered Kombayi to tender a resignation letter to the Gweru town clerk by December 31.
“That being the case, I hereby give you notice that you must forthwith resign as mayor of the City of Gweru and remain an ordinary councillor, which resignation must take place before December 31 . . . You should write a resignation letter to the town clerk by December 31,” part of the letter dated December 12 2013 read.
Town clerk Daniel Matawu said he had not received any letter from Kombayi.
“There is no letter I received from the mayor,” Matawu said.
Kombayi refused to comment on the matter.
“I have no comment,” he said.
A source said Kombayi attended a council meeting on Monday and added that he showed no signs of someone leaving office.
“It appeared to be business as usual,” the source said.
Close sources said there were deep divisions within the party on the decision to expel Kombayi with those opposing the move saying unlike other councils where MDC-T councillors backed Zanu PF candidates, Gweru made a decision within the party.
Kombayi and four other Gweru councillors were suspended for alleged misconduct in October pending disciplinary hearings on the matter.