MDC orders Byo deputy mayor to resign
to expel him and recall him from council,” reads Mr Zvidzai’s letter. “Similar cases of defiance elsewhere were dealt with by the party in the same way. You are aware that the member concerned falls within your area of control, thus we kindly invite you to put due process in motion.”
In response, the province wrote Kambarami ordering him to step down.
“In pursuant to the letter addressed to us by the National Secretary for Local Government we hereby inform you that you are instructed to step down from the position of Deputy Mayor Bulawayo Municipality within seven days of receipt of this letter. Failure to comply within the stipulated period to Clr shall result in your expulsion from the party and also recall from the council,” reads the letter from MDC Bulawayo.
Contacted for comment, Clr Kambarami requested to be phoned in 30 minutes but he was later not answering his cellphone. MDC has so far fired Victoria Falls Mayor Clr Somvelo Dlamini as well as Chegutu Mayor and six other councillors.
Constitutional lawyer Professor Lovemore Madhuku said MDC was within its rights to fire councillors as the principle is similar to that used for firing Members of Parliament and Senators.
“Under the Parliamentary processes a party can expel someone from the party and write to the Speaker leading to the individual’s expulsion from Parliament. In local authorities the party first expels the individual before writing to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing who will then notify the councillor of expulsion. The rule is the same,” said Prof Madhuku.
“Our laws allows a party to act in such an undemocratic manner where people vote but the party decides who then remains in Parliament. So Chamisa (Nelson) has been silly enough to expose the undemocratic nature of our constitution.”
However, a well placed source said it would be difficult for the MDC to expel some of the councillors as they were elected under the MDC Alliance banner.
“These councillors were elected under MDC Alliance which is not a political party but a coalition. But now a political party wants to recall them which can create a legal hurdle. The councillors can easily be defiant using that legal technicality and retain their positions. So the best thing is to watch the space,” said the official. — @nqotshili