10 City of Gweru councillors from the Nelson Chamisa led MDC faction has been fired after attending a meeting convened by his nemesis, Douglas Mwonzora, who commands that breakaway MDC Alliance faction.
The two influential opposition leaders have been at loggerheads over the use of the party name and logo since 2019.
Mwonzora also took control of the party’s headquarters, Harvest House after the High Court ruled that he was the rightful owner of the party, a move which was seen as politically motivated.
The recent expulsion of the Gweru councillors is the latest tiff between the two political opponents who are tangled in a power wrangle ahead of the 2023 elections.
The fired councillors expelled from Gweru City Council are former mayor Charles Chikozho (Ward 10), Trust Chineni (Ward 15), Tawanda Magidi (Ward 16), Catherine Mhondiwa (Ward 13), Doubt Ncube (Ward 3), Farai Muza (Ward 17), Godfrey Giwa (Ward 6), Edson Kurebgaseka (Ward 9), John Manyundzwa (Ward 18) and Notal Dzika (Ward 8).
From Vungu RDC, Councillors Benjamin Mpala (Ward 7), Spiwe Moyo (Ward 8), Nyika Parirenyatwa (Ward 16) and Restart Muswere (Ward 10) were fired.
In a letter of expulsion, the 10 are accused of defying the Chamisa led party position of not interacting with the Mwonzora faction.
“The following councillors attended the MDC-T (Mwonzora) meeting on 3 September 2021 in defiance of the party position and are therefore expelled from the party, MDC-Alliance, with immediate effect,” reads the letter from MDC-Alliance Midlands province secretary Lazarus Chacha,
“They contravened the party constitution (Annexure C) disciplinary code of conduct and regulations 2.2 (i) acted in collaboration with another political organisation in a manner that is detrimental to the achievement of the aims and objectives of MDC-Alliance party thereby undermining the authority vested in them by the electorate who had faith and trust by attending the MDC-T meeting,” the letter further states.
The 14 councillors attended a meeting called by Silas Mangono, MDC-T local government and parliamentary affairs director who had also threatened unspecified action to any councillors that did not attend.
“I have been asked by the secretary for local government, Faith Musarurwa Kamutsungira to inform you that she will be coming to Gweru on September 3, 2021, at 9am to meet with all Gweru, Vungu and Shurugwi MDC-T councillors,” said Mangono.
“So you are required to attend. Failure to attend will be interpreted to mean that we are not working together and appropriate action will be taken. Please liaise with the Gweru mayor and chief whip for the venue,” he said.