By Matabeleland North Correspondent
LOCAL Government Minister July Moyo has ordered the Victoria Falls Town Council to elect a new mayor after he declared vacant, the position following the sacking of Somvelo Dlamini as mayor and councillor by his party MDC Alliance last month.
Dlamini was expelled on 24 February 2020 after he defied a party directive to step down as mayor and pave way for the MDC’s preferred candidate, Margaret Varley.
The party had directed that Dlamini should instead stand as deputy mayor.
Dlamini last week withdrew a court application he had made at the High Court suing the MDC and its leader, Nelson Chamisa for throwing him out of the party and recalling him as party councillor.
A week after withdrawing the lawsuit, Moyo wrote to the municipality declaring the seat vacant and directing council to find a replacement.
“I wish to inform you that I am in receipt of a letter from the Movement of Democratic Change stating that Clr S Dlamini has been expelled from the party. In terms of Section 278 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, as read with Section 129 (1)(k) Ward 9 of Victoria Falls Municipality is now vacant,” wrote Moyo.
“In terms of Section 121 of the Electoral Act, please inform the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of the casual vacancy. Please ensure that a new mayor is elected and sworn in as soon as is possible and that any assets of council allocated to former Clr Dlamini are recovered,” read part of the letter which Victoria Falls municipality management acknowledged receiving.
Victoria Falls has 11 wards and deputy Mayor Patricia Mwale has been acting since sacking of Dlamini.
The councillors have been divided over Dlamini’s fate with Ephias Mambume, Prince Moyo, Varley and Nkanyiso Sibindi pushing for election as they have openly declared interest in the seat.
Mwale has also declared her interest to replace her former boss.
Other councillors Lungile Nyoni, Joseph Dzangai, Rich Mguni, Edmore Zhou and Netsai Shoko have been against holding of elections as they have no interest in the seat.
Dlamini had reportedly fallen out even with municipal management which a fortnight ago warned him against visiting the council offices.
He is also said to have addressed residents at a funeral and claimed he was the rightful mayor for the resort town as the government had not declared the seat vacant.