D-day for rebellious MDC councillors

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HARARE – The national standing committee of Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC will today decide the fate of two mayors and seven councillors suspended on allegations of defying party directives during mayoral elections.

Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC spokesperson, told the Daily News that the party’s Standing Committee received the probe report from the disciplinary committee last week and will make a decision today.

“During the last meeting, we received the probe report from the disciplinary committee and it was very comprehensive,” Mwonzora said.

“We were very happy with the report and the decision whether to fire the councillors or not will be taken this week.”

The party suspended its councillors last month for allegedly voting for Zanu PF mayoral candidates during the mayoral elections.

Among those suspended are Gweru and Mutare mayors Hamutendi Kombayi and Tatenda Nhamarare respectively.

Kombayi, his deputy Artwell Matyorauta, Moses Marecha, Tawanda Magidi and Farai Muza are accused of dumping the preferred Gweru mayoral candidate Charles Chikozho. Kenneth Sithole was the party’s preferred deputy mayor.

In Mutare, Nhamarare was suspended alongside three other councillors, namely Pamela Mutare, Farai Bhiza and Richard Mupfura, for not voting the MDC’s preferred mayoral candidate Thomas Nyamupangedengu.

The party also accused the quartet of voting Zanu PF’s Collen Mukwada as deputy mayor in place of Kudakwashe Chisango of the MDC.

It emerged after the elections that Nhamarare was not an MDC nominee for the mayoral position.

MDC councillors in Victoria Falls, Kwekwe and Redcliff were also reported to have voted Zanu PF councillors in protest over alleged imposition of candidates by their party.

In the wake of the suspensions, the party immediately set up a four-member disciplinary committee comprising former Mazowe Central MP Shepherd Mushonga, Women’s Assembly secretary-general Sibusisiwe Bhuda-Masara, Youth Assembly spokesperson Clifford Hlatshwayo and Chitungwiza Senator James Makore to investigate the councillors.

Officials said the party was in a catch-22 situation as some senior party members are backing the suspended councillors.

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