MDC councillors off the hook

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HARARE – Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has spared the axe on five  rebellious councillors and two mayors suspended for defying the party directive and voting Zanu PF mayoral candidates.

The party suspended its councillors two months back for allegedly voting for Zanu PF mayoral candidates ahead of their party’s nominees during the mayoral elections.

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

Kombayi, his deputy Artwell Matyorauta, Moses Marecha, Tawanda Magidi and Farai Muza were accused of dumping the preferred Gweru mayoral candidate Charles Chikozho and Kenneth Sithole as deputy mayor.

In Mutare, Nhamarare was suspended alongside three other councillors, namely Pamela Mutare, Farai Bhiza and Richard Mupfura, for not voting the party’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, preferred by the party.

It emerged after the elections that Nhamarare was not the MDC nominee for the mayor’s position.
The party’s Standing Committee met at Harvest House, the party headquarters in central Harare yesterday to pass a resolution on the suspended councillors.

“A resolution was passed by the Standing Committee but it is waiting for approval by the National Executive Committee which will meet tomorrow (today),” Douglas Mwonzora, the party spokesperson told the Daily News yesterday.

Mwonzora declined to divulge what the Standing Committee had recommended saying he did not want to pre-empt the National Executive Committee meeting.

But a senior party source told the Daily News that the Standing Committee resolved not to fire the councillors.

“They are off the hook. We resolved not to fire them. But they were given small punishments and that is all l can say for the moment,” the source said.

The party’s National Executive Committee is expected to receive the Standing Committee’s resolution today and approve of it.

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.

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