Sacked Chitungwiza MDC councillors vow not to leave party

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Three months after their expulsion from the MDC party, Chitungwiza councillors have not been formally advised of the party position and they vow they will never leave the party.

All 23 councillors were fired in one fell swoop at an announcement made at a press briefing at Harvest House by the party spokesperson, Nelson Chamisa and deputy secretary-general Tapiwa Mashakada.

Party leader Morgan Tsvangirai reiterated the same position at a rally in Chitungwiza saying he would do all he could to get the councillors removed from council.

Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, however says he will not meddle in internal party squabbles and, as far as he was concerned, the councillors had committed no crime and would therefore remain in office.

Alderman Phillemon Chipiyo, the Mayor of Chitungwiza, who was fired along with his entire council has vowed he will never leave the MDC because the sacrifices he has made for the MDC have married him to the party for life.

“I am now unable to leave the MDC. The party has become part of my life forever and no matter how much they may try to get me out I will never leave.

They can remove me from the party offices but I will remain a staunch supporter.

I lost four children who were killed while my home was destroyed because of my party.

How would I justify my leaving to my family or to God?” said Chipiyo in an interview with NewsDay.

Chipiyo said all the councillors had not been able to appeal against their expulsion because they had not been formally advised through letters.

“We do not know what to appeal against because we have received no letter. Besides, the party constitution clearly states how members may be suspended or expelled. That did not happen in our case and as, I speak, none of us have received any letters of suspension or expulsion.”

Chamisa and Mashakada openly declared they did not have to follow procedure or the constitution when they did not feel like it.

A quick perusal of the party supreme law and the Urban Councils Act vindicates the councillors, which makes their instant dismissal undemocratic.

Appendix Three of the MDC constitution makes it clear that offenders are advised of their offences in writing, summoned for hearings in the same manner and if found guilty, advised accordingly and accorded automatic right of appeal.