The MDC-T led by Dr Thokozani Khupe wants six more Harare councillors recalled, including Harare Mayor Herbert Gomba, as the party continues to deal with “errant” officials failing to respect the party’s leadership.
MDC-T’s grounds for recall are that the MDC-A list, on which the six were elected, was a composite of the allocated nominations of the eight parties that went into the electoral alliance with the deal being that the constituent parties would retain their identity and control.
In a letter addressed to Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo, MDC-T secretary-general Mr Douglas Mwonzora said the party wanted to recall Councillors Gomba, Lovemore Makuwerere, Hammy Madzingira, Costa Mande, Kudzai Kadzombe, Happymore Gotora and Gilbert Hadebe.
“We hereby notify your office in terms of section 278 of the Constitution, we hereby declare that the following councillors have ceased to belong to the Movement of Democratic Change,” read the letter in part.
The recall of the six councillors comes after four other councillors — Denford Ngadziore (Ward 16), Girisoti Mandere (Ward 44), Jaison Kautsa (Ward 37) and Tonderai Chakeredza (Ward 31) — were relieved of their duties last month.
Mr Mwonzora said in terms of the agreement, that the MDC-T signed with seven other political parties ahead of the 2018 polls, known as the Composite Political Agreement, member parties retained their individual identities and they also chose their own candidates under each party quotas.
“Our party was the party to which these councillors belonged at the time of the 2018 elections. By operation of the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe judgment in SC56/20, a copy of which I attached hereto, I am the current secretary-general and as such I have authority to make this correspondence,” he said.
Since the Supreme Court ruled in a civil suit brought by others in the MDC-T that Mr Nelson Chamisa grabbed power outside the MDC-T’s own internal rules, the 2014 leadership that resumed temporary control has been having senators, MPs and councillors recalled.
The MDC-A has argued that it was a party at the time of the 2018 elections, but the High Court has ruled that it was just an electoral alliance and that the underlying parties remain in control of the public office holders
Apart from the leadership wrangles, the opposition has seen arrests for corruption by office holders, showing vividly that the culture of corruption spread its tentacles into all corners of society.
Gomba is on $10 000 bail after he was arrested on abuse of office charges.
A faction of councillors aligning themselves to the leadership of Dr Thokozani Khupe are now pushing for the ouster of those opposed to her ascendancy as the interim MDC leader following the Supreme Court.
In an interview yesterday, Clr Lovemore Mukunguma said Gomba should be relieved of his duties.
“So if Dr Khupe says Clr Mukunguma go and lead at Town House I will do that. But as of now I haven’t discussed that with her and I believe she is overwhelmed with preparations for the ordinary congress”.
Gomba, however, claimed a witch-hunt in the MDC meant to strip him off his ceremonial role and robes.
“I know some have been writing false stories on social media to tarnish my image and some are going to the police to create fake abuse charges just to fight me,” he said.
Charges against Gomba arose last year when he allegedly connived with his accomplices and altered an approved layout plan belonging to Youth in Business Housing Trust.
In doing so, Gomba and his accomplices allegedly converted State land to council land and allocated it to Taringana Housing Scheme, with the same plan number that was allocated to Youths in Business Trust.