The MDC Alliance says recalled Bulawayo Ward 24 councillor, Arnold Batirai Dube will not vacate office until the Minister of Local Government July Moyo clarifies whom he wrote recalling him in his letter.
On September 18, Minister Moyo wrote a letter to the Bulawayo town clerk, Christopher Dube instructing him to inform the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) about the vacancy which has arisen in Harare’s Ward 17 following the recalling of Dube by the Lucia Matibenga led People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The error has since seen Arnold Dube clinging on to his post as Bulawayo’s Ward 24 councillor.
“I wish to inform you that I am in receipt of a letter from the People’s Democratic Party stating that the following councillor ceased to belong to that party advising my office that the member has by operation of the constitution of People’s Democratic Party automatically terminated their membership of the said party.
“In terms of Section 278 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe read with section 129 (1) (k), Ward 17 of Harare is now vacant. Please proceed to inform the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in terms of Section 121 of the Electoral Act,” wrote Moyo to the Town Clerk.
However, in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, the MDC Alliance Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Swithern Chirowodza said Dube will continue with his civic duties because Moyo’s letter refers to someone else in Harare.
“I have seen Minister Moyo’s letter which purported to have recalled Councillor Dube. Councillor Dube represents Ward 24 in Bulawayo and not Harare’s Ward 17 as has been stated by July Moyo,” said Chirowodza.
“The little we know is that Councillor Dube will continue to attend council meetings until such time that he has been legally evicted. The eviction of Councillor Batirai at the moment is illegal,” said Chirowodza.
The MDC Alliance spokesperson said Councillor Dube came into the MDC Alliance under the PDP led by Tendai Biti.
“You remember the Matibenga PDP was part of the Rainbow Coalition while the Honourable Biti-led PDP was part of the Alliance during the 2018 elections. Where is this faction of the party getting its powers to recall councillors who are not their members? We have a very big problem in the country. Actually, we are in crisis,” said Chirowodza.
Recently, eight other Bulawayo councillors were fired from council through directives by the Thokozani Khupe led MDC-T.
The PDP led by Matibenga has also attempted to recall Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume, only weeks after he was elected.