LOCAL Government minister July Moyo has fired Victoria Falls mayor Somvelo Dhlamini and declared his ward 9 seat vacant following recommendations by the Nelson Chamisa-led opposition MDC party.
By Richard Muponde
Chamisa last month fired Dhlamini both from the party and council for defying a directive to resign as mayor.
This was after Dhlamini had defied the opposition’s directive not to contest for the mayoral post, but rally behind the party’s preferred candidates, Margaret Valley and Ephias Mambume as mayoress and deputy mayor, respectively.
In a letter to Victoria Falls municipality seen by Southern Eye, Moyo ordered that a new mayor be elected as soon as possible.
“I wish to inform you that I am in receipt of a letter from the Movement of Democratic Change that councillor S Dhlamini has been expelled from the party. In terms of section 278(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, as read with section 129(1)(k), ward 9 of Victoria Falls Municipality is now vacant,” the letter read.
“In terms of section 121 of the Electoral Act, please inform the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of the casual vacancy. Please ensure a new mayor is elected as soon as possible and any assets of council recovered from Clr Dhlamini.”
MDC fired Dhlamini in a letter dated February 24 written by the party’s secretary-general Chalton Hwende and copied to the party’s provincial chairperson and the Victoria Falls town secretary.
“This letter serves to confirm the termination by the national council of your membership of the party as per the resolution of the National Council of November 23, 2018,” Hwende wrote.
The new development will likely see the party reverting to its previous arrangement of having Valley and Mambume at the helm of the resort town’s council.
Dhlamini is also facing charges of abuse of office after he allegedly forged title deeds of a housing stand he got at a subsidised price in 2013 before illegally selling it for US$20 000 without paying anything to the council.