Khupe Fires Harare Deputy Mayor, 10 More Councillors

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By Costa Nkomo

MDC-T interim president Thokozani Khupe has recalled 11 more councillors including deputy mayor, Enoch Mupamawonde claiming they had ceased to be party members.

According to Local Government Minister July Moyo, the 11 councillors’ wards are now vacant and by-elections elections will be conducted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

“I wish to inform you that I am in receipt of a letter from the Movement of Democratic Change (T) that the following councillors have been expelled from the party; Makuwerere Lovemore of Ward 24; Hadebe Gilbert, Ward 19; Mapanzure Simon, Ward 34; Chidhagu Charles, Ward 30; Charumbira Keith, Ward 8; Dhliwayo Steven, Ward 40; Ndira Barnabas, Ward 21; Runyowa Chihoma, Ward 29; Nyatsuro Charles, Ward 6; Mupamawonde Enoch, Ward 24,” the minister wrote in a letter to Harare town clerk.

“In terms of Section 121 of the Electoral Act, please inform the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).”

The expulsions follow the recent dismissal of Harare mayor Herbert Gomba and eight other councillors.

Gomba has since been replaced as mayor by Jacob Mafume.

The latest dismissals follow the defeat two weeks ago of Luckson Mukunguma who was the MDC-T preferred candidate.

The MDC-T has apparently responded with vengeance through dismissals on the current councillors. The total number of expelled councillors from the MDC Alliance now stands at 20.

Meanwhile, Mafume has appointed Harare City health director Prosper Chonzi as acting town clerk.

The appointment of Chonzi follows the arrest of town clerk Hosiah Chisango last week on corruption charges for alleged involvement in illegal land sales in the capital.

Chisango was Monday at the Harare Magistrates’ Court for bail hearing after the application was Saturday postponed. Scores of senior councils officials have also been arrested on similar charges.

At 21 MDC Alliance MPs have also been recalled by the MDC-T on similar grounds.

The expulsions have led ZEC to announce by-elections for 5 December with a budget of $8 million.