SENIOR STAFF WRITER
HARARE mayor Herbert Gomba has become the latest casualty of the MDC’s mindless bloodletting, after he was removed from office yesterday together with five other councillors, the Daily News reports.
The Glen Norah councillor became the mayor of the capital city in September 2018, after the Harare City Council broke with its previous traditions of looking for a high-profile leader.
He was the 45th mayor of Harare and 12th since 1980, when he assumed office unopposed, following the expiry of Ben Manyenyeni’s tenure.
In a letter announcing the shock recall of Gomba from Town House, the MDC’s interim leadership said he and his colleagues — Hammy Madzingira (Ward 10), Kudzai Kadzombe (Ward 41), Gaudencia Marere (Ward 32), Costa Mande (Ward 24) and Happymore Gotora (Ward 7) — had ceased to be party members.
“We hereby … declare that the following councillors have ceased to belong to the Movement for Democratic Change, which is a member of the Movement for Democratic Alliance which was formed in terms of the constitutive agreement, a copy of which is attached hereto.
“In terms of the agreement seven political parties entered into a pre-election agreement known as the composite political agreement for purposes of contesting the 2018 elections.
“In terms of Clause 2.0 of the agreement, the member parties retained their individual identities. They also chose their own candidates under their respective quotas.
“Our party was the party to which these councillors belonged at the time of the 2018 elections,” MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said in a letter to the Local Government ministry.
This comes after the Thokozani Khupe-led interim MDC leadership also recalled Bulawayo deputy mayor Tinashe Kambarami, as well as Concillia Mlalazi, Alderman Ernest Rafamoyo, Tinevimbo Maphosa and Norman Hlabani.
Khupe has also recalled 21 MDC Alliance legislators from Parliament.
The MDC has been consumed by its senseless ructions ever since its much-loved founding father Morgan Tsvangirai died from colon cancer in February 2018.
The party’s infighting escalated after the Supreme Court’s judgment earlier this year which upheld last year’s ruling by the High Court that nullified Nelson Chamisa’s ascendancy to the leadership of the country’s biggest opposition party.
Both Chamisa and Khupe have been criticised for failing to heal their rift and focusing on the failures of Zanu PF — whose incompetent handling of the economy has stirred anger among long-suffering Zimbabweans.
Among those who have criticised the two rivals is former MDC chairperson Lovemore Moyo who recently said pointedly that their brawling had “absolutely nothing to do with serving the long-suffering people of Zimbabwe”.
“The fight between the two formations is purely a power struggle. It’s about fighting for the control of the soul of the MDC and president Morgan Tsvangirai’s political legacy.
“More importantly, it’s about who is who in the MDC leadership. Unfortunately, there is no winner in the on-going political fight as the two parties will significantly lose the opposition vote, supporters and credibility.
“Actually, Zanu PF will emerge the biggest winner as it stands from a divided and unco-ordinated opposition come the 2023 general elections.
“Remember, the 2005 MDC split set a wrong precedent that one can disregard the party constitution, regulations and rules and still remain in charge of the party,” Moyo who now leads the United Movement for Devolution (UMD), told the Daily News.