By Bulawayo Correspondent
BULAWAYO deputy Mayor and MDC Ward 3 Councillor Tinashe Kambarami’s political career hangs in the balance.
After an embarrassing week in which his bid to have Town Clerk Christopher Dube suspended for incompetence hit a brick wall, Kambarami now has to defend his election victory at the High Court.
The case opened before High Court Judge, Justice Thompson Mabikwa, Monday in Bulawayo.
Losing opposition Zapu candidate Nomalanga Dabengwa and Mthwakazi Restoration Movement Trust are challenging Kambarami’s election after filing an application at the Electoral Court in Bulawayo seeking a reversal of the result on the basis that the Deputy Mayor was once convicted of theft.
The applicants also cited the Bulawayo City Council, the MDC Alliance and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in the application which was filed under case number EC/18.
“This is an application to declare the election of 1st respondent as Councillor for ward three in Bulawayo and also as deputy mayor for the city of Bulawayo null and void on account of his disqualification as will be stated,” the High Court heard.
“1ST respondent (Kambarami) is one of the many people who submitted their papers to the nomination court to be considered as a candidate for election as Councillor for Ward 3 in Bulawayo. His papers were accepted by the 3rd respondent (ZEC). He represented MDC A. It has however come to our attention as an organisation that 1st respondent has a criminal record. He was charged and convicted of theft,” reads part of the application, jointly filed by Dabengwa and Dorothy Ndlovu who claimed to be Mthwakazi Restoration Movement Trust secretary.
The two applicants allege that Kambarami was convicted on June 27, 2018 under case number CRB1981/18.
They argued that it terms of the law, he is supposed to be disqualified following his alleged conviction.
“ He was and is in terms of the law disqualified from being Councillor for Ward 3 in Bulawayo, or any ward for that matter, in terms of Section 119 (2) (e) of the electoral Act (Chapter 2:13). It is important to note that 1st respondent was convicted on account of his own plea of guilty,” said the applicants.
“As an organisation, we could not sit back and watch an illegality being perpetuated. We believed, rightly so that it was and is our duty to seek that this clear illegality be corrected,” said the applicants.
The respondents said they had given Kambarami a chance to voluntarily resign but he had refused.
Kambarami and the MDC Alliance who are represented by the Mqhawe Mpofu of Sam Mlaudzi and partners are opposing the application.
The Bulawayo Deputy Mayor was the Acting Mayor last week was sucked into a tribal storm after Town Clerk Dube refused to vacate his office accusing the Councillor of fronting a “Shona agenda” to suspend him.
Kambarami and another Councillor Silas Chigora were subsequently arrested and they appeared in court on Saturday facing charges of assaulting Dube while serving him with his suspension letter.