Zanu PF Councillor Guns For Chinhoyi Mayor’s Ouster

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent

ZANU PF Chinhoyi Ward 11 councillor, Vorster Mashevedzanwa who contested and narrowly lost an election to choose a new mayor for the town last December, has lodged a High Court bid to stop the incumbent from exercising mayoral duties.

He argues MDC Alliance’s Garikai Dendera was illegally voted into office and should, therefore, vacate the job.

Dendera won the 11 December 2020 election after polling five votes against Mashevedzanwa’s four.

This has prompted Mashevedzanwa to file an urgent chamber application at the High Court to declare as null and void Dendera’s election and appointment as premier.

In court papers filed 5 February 2021, Chinhoyi Municipality chamber secretary, Abel Gotora is cited as first respondent while Dendera and town clerk Maxwell Kaitano are second and third respondent, respectively.

The aggrieved ward 11 councillor argues he was literally ambushed and went on to contest the poll under protest.

In his founding affidavit, Mashevedzanwa, through his lawyers Thomas Nelson Attorneys wrote, “… Section 84 (4) of the Urban Councils Act governing the calling of special council meetings specifically provides that written notices of any special meeting in terms of Subsection (3) shall be sent to each councillor at least 24 hours before the meeting.

“Contrary to the said provision, a notice convening the special meeting was delivered to my residence at or around 6pm on calling a meeting the following morning at 10am…”

He added, “The 2nd respondent (Dendera) was, therefore, not properly elected as duly elected Mayor of Chinhoyi and accordingly, applicant seeks a declaratory order to the same and setting aside of the purported election and appointment.”

Mashevedzanwa’s prayed to the court to treat the matter as urgent in order to stop Dendera from exercising the role of mayor as he occupies the post unlawfully to the detriment of council.

Sources said Dendera of Ward 5 has filed opposing papers while the matter is yet to be set down.

The mayoral election followed the expulsion late November last year of former mayor Dyke Makumbi (ward 12) and deputy mayor Chipo Mlotshwa (ward 14).

Councillor Mercy Mada (Ward 6) bagged the deputy mayor’s post after garnering six votes, while her challenger in Zanu PF’s Innocent Mangwanya polled three.

The recalls also claimed the scalps of four other councillors, namely Brighton Mhizha (ward 4), Richard Vhitirinyu (ward 3), Patricia Chibaya (ward 2) and Mukudzei Chigumbura (ward 8).

Chinhoyi Municipality is now left with nine out of a possible 15 councillors.