‘Erroneously’ recalled Lupane councillor yet to assume duty

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Lupane

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

A LUPANE councillor is yet to officially assume his duty following an “erroneous” recall from the Kusile Rural District Council (KRDC) by the opposition MDC-T party last year, Southern Eye has learnt.

June Mpofu, a Matshiya ward 15 councillor, was recalled from council on September 11 on grounds that he was a member of the MDC Alliance.

Mpofu denied the claims, insisting he belonged to the Welshman Ncube-led MDC.

He was recalled alongside Thabani Dube of ward 19 in Lupane.

The MDC-T reversed the recalls in February after acknowledging that the opposition party had made a mistake.

KRDC chairperson Christopher Chuma yesterday confirmed to Southern Eye that Mpofu’s recall had been withdrawn, adding that the latter could not report for duty until the Local Government ministry communicated to that effect.

“We are waiting for a response from the Local Government ministry. We have not blocked him per se, but we stand guided by the ministry and the laws,” he said in a telephone interview.

“In fact, the councillor and his party must take it upon themselves to ensure that the ministry writes to the council directing us to allow him to attend council meetings. We don’t have powers to recall any councillor.”

Mpofu said: “I have been denied entry in council meetings. This is despite me challenging my recall and the MDC-T acknowledging the mistake in recalling me.”

A number of MDC Alliance legislators and councillors have been recalled from Parliament and municipalities by the Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-T, paving way for the holding of by-elections, which, however, are still pending due to a ban imposed on electoral activities to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In January, the KRDC chairperson wrote to Mpofu informing him that his seat was vacant.

“The vacancy is declared in terms of section 278(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe as read with 129(1)(k) which provides … a member seat shall become vacant if the member has ceased to belong to a political party of which he was a member … The vacancy is with immediate effect and the council will process any allowances that are due to you at the date of this letter,” Chuma wrote in a letter dated January 25.

The Ncube-led MDC in a letter to Local Government minister July Moyo dated February 3 insisted that Mpofu was erroneously recalled.

“We advise you that the two (Lupane councillors) concerned councillors were erroneously included on our list. They, in fact, belong to the MDC-led by Welshman Ncube. Therefore, the MDC-T has no authority to recall the said councillors. As such, their recall is a nullity at law and has to be reversed,” MDC Ncube’s secretary-general Paurina Mpariwa wrote.

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