Fate of MDC rebels to be sealed

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HARARE – The national standing committee for Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC will today convene at its Harvest House headquarters in Harare to decide the fate of its rebellious mayors and councillors, suspended on allegations of voting for Zanu PF candidates during mayoral elections.

The party has received a report from 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.

The committee was set up to investigate the “defiant” councillors.

The national standing committee will seal the fate of Gweru and Mutare mayors Hamutendi Kombayi and Tatenda Nhamarare respectively.

Douglas Mwonzora, the party spokesperson, yesterday said: “Their fate will be decided tomorrow (today) when the national standing committee meets.

“We will issue a press statement as soon as a decision of whether they will be expelled or retained has been arrived at.”

In what probably puts the disagreements in the party over the issue into perspective, deputy organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe contradicted Mwonzora, saying the meeting today has nothing to do with the councillors as the investigating committee was yet to table its findings to the standing committee.

“Those are rumours because we have not even received the report yet. The meeting you are referring to is a routine one that we hold every Wednesday, so I do not comment on rumours,” Bhebhe said.

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

In Mutare, Nhamarare and three other councilors Pamela Mutare, Farai Bhiza and Richard Mupfura, allegedly did not vote Thomas Nyamupangedengu, who was the party’s preference for the mayoral post.

The party also accuses the quartet of voting Zanu PF’s Collen Mukwada as deputy mayor in place of their own Kudakwashe Chisango while councillors in Victoria Falls, Kwekwe and Redcliff also reportedly voted Zanu PF candidates.

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