Recalled PDP councillors challenge expulsion

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RECALLED Harare mayor Jacob Mafume

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
RECALLED Harare mayor Jacob Mafume and fellow People’s Democratic Party (PDP)  councillors Simon Chabuka (Mutare) and Anorld Batirai Dube (Bulawayo) have approached the High Court challenging their dismissal by Local Government minister July Moyo.

They want their recalls to be declared null and void, saying their constitutional rights were violated.

Moyo last week announced that the three positions were vacant after they were recalled by PDP in a letter dated March 28, 2022.

“In terms of section 278(i) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, as read with section (l)(k), the wards the three represented were now vacant because the three had joined Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC),” Moyo said.

But Mafume and the two councillors argue that they belonged to the PDP led by Tendai Biti.

They cited Moyo, the town clerks of Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission as respondents.

Mafume won the 2018 local authority elections in ward 17 in Harare under the MDC Alliance.

Other PDP members who were recalled included Kucaca Phulu, Settlement Chikwinya, Dube, Chabuka, Willias Madzimure, Regai Tsunga, Biti and Chelesile  Mahlangu who had won National Assembly seats under the MDC
Alliance.

On April 14, 2021, the High Court ruled that only authorised representatives of the PDP led by Biti, in particular under Chikwinya as the secretary-general had the power to act on behalf of the PDP.

“In this regard, Moyo and those who communicated with him are violating our choice by seeking to ascribe us membership of a political party that is alien to us and is certainly not the PDP led by Biti and Chikwinya that we have always been members since 2017,” Mafume submitted.

They asked the town clerks to disregard Moyo’s letter.  The matter is yet to be heard.

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