Local Government minister Winston Chitando recalls 17 CCC councillors

‘Move described as ‘serious breach of section 68 of the constitution’

HARARE – Local government minister Winston Chitando has announced the recall of 17 CCC councillors, 12 of them from Bulawayo, acting on the orders of Sengezo Tshabangu, who claims to be the party’s interim secretary general.

In correspondence to the Bulawayo Town Clerk dated 18 October, Chitando said the expulsions followed claims by Tshabangu that the councillors had ceased to be members of the main opposition.

“I wish to inform you that I am in receipt of a letter from the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) stating that the following councillors have ceased to be members of Citizens Coalition for Change political party,” he said.

Chitando went on to list the councillors expelled.

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They are Bulawayo councillors; Shepherd Sithole (Ward 1), Nkosinathi Hove-Mpofu (Ward 6), Donaldson Mabutho (Ward 9), Takunda Felix Madzana (Ward 18), Simbarashe Dube (Ward 20), Tinevimbo Maphosa (Ward 21), Thobeka Mmeli Moyo (Ward 22) and Arnold Batirai (Ward 24).

Also recalled were proportional representation councillors namely, Sarah Cronje, Mhizha Tabeth, Sibanda Dorcas and Zibusiso Tshongwe.

The others are Granger Nyoni and Gugu Ncube, both from the Matabeleland South provincial council), Maundura Mbiri (Matabeleland North provincial council), Shantel Chiwara (Masvingo ward 2) and Anna Sande (Epworth provincial council).

“In terms of section 278(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, as read with Section (1)(k), the above-mentioned wards are now vacant,” Chitando wrote.

Commenting on the ouster of fellow councillors, Bulawayo mayor David Coltart said Chitando was acting in breach of the law.

“The action of the Minister is a serious breach of section 68 of the Constitution – namely the right to administrative justice,” he said.

“The Minister was required to ascertain whether the person purporting to act on behalf of the party was authorised to do so.

“He was also required to act in a procedurally fair manner, which includes the right of the Councillors affected to be heard before he acted.”

Coltart added, “But the greatest breach is the moral breach – all of these Councillors have recently been voted into office by the overwhelming votes (over 80% majorities in most cases), directly or indirectly, of the citizens of Bulawayo.

“This is a total negation of democracy- it is an outrage. The only entity which stands to gain out of this is Zanu PF which is clearly behind these machinations.

“Whilst this clearly undermines the work of the Bulawayo City Council we will continue to work as hard as we can to turn our great City around. We will also do all we can to challenge this outrageous act through the courts and diplomatically.”

The recalls follow similar expulsions on 15 CCC MPs on the orders of Tshabangu.

CCC has disowned Tshabangu, describing him as an imposter. – ZimLive

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