A faction of City Of Harare councillors aligning themselves to the leadership of Dr Thokozani Khupe in the ongoing MDC leadership wrangle are behind the ouster of those opposed to her ascendancy as the interim MDC leader following a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year.
Leading the group in the recall of MDC Alliance councillors including mayor Herbert Gomba is Finance Committee Chairman Clr Lovemore Mukunguma who is positioning himself to take over as the Mayor of the capital city.
“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” Mukunguma told state media in an interview.
Mukunguma and his Collegues have also been reported by sources within the Chambers to have been behind the recent arrest of mayor Gomba. He is on $10 000 bail after he was arrested on abuse of office charges.
Gomba confirmed the bad blood amongst the councillors claiming 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.
Meanwhile, the MDC-T Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora has justified his party’s recalling of mayor Gomba and five councillors claiming that the party is dealing with “errant” officials failing to respect the party’s leadership.
Mwonzora claims that the 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.
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