Former Harare Mayor Fights Expulsion

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By Mary Taruvinga

FORMER Harare mayor, Herbert Gomba has filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court challenging his recent expulsion from the opposition MDC-T and council.

He filed the application together with five other councillors seeking the nullification of their dismissals from the local council on grounds they were no longer members of the party.

The other councillors are Hammy Madzingira, Kudzai Kadzombe, Gaudencia Marera, Happymore Gotora and Costa Mande.

In the application, the MDC-T, Minister of Local Government July Moyo are cited as first and second respondents while the City of Harare and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) are third and fourth respondents respectively.

In a founding affidavit deposed by Gomba, the axed city father said the aggrieved former councillors were also seeking to prove that SI29 of the Constitution does not allow the recalling of a mayor, chairman, or councillors on the basis of changing political affiliation.

“This is an urgent chamber application in terms of 032R244 of the High Court rules 1971 to render the purported vacancies in respect of wards 27, 10, 41, 32, 17 and 7 by second respondent (July Moyo) and third respondent (City of Harare) and the instance of the first respondent (MDC-T), be declared null and void,” Gomba’s affidavit reads.

“The application seeks a declaratory order that no recall of a mayor, chairperson and councillors shall be of no force or effect unless or until the second respondent (Moyo) has complied with section 278(2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.”

Gomba said on August 14, 2020, the MDC-T wrote to the City of Harare declaring that he and other councillors were no longer MDC-T members and their membership had been terminated.

The former mayor said they only learnt of their dismissals through social media as they were not served with any letters, which is an anomaly in the interpretation of section 129 and 278 of the Constitution.

Gomba said the Harare City Council had a letter dated August 17, 2020, which informed ZEC that the six councillors had been expelled from the party and the respective wards had become vacant for possible by-elections to be conducted.

The case is pending.