Newly-installed Harare mayor, Jacob Mafume, has been recalled by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) while the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) led by Thokozani Khupe has also dumped three other mayors and councilors in various towns and cities, paralyzing local authority operations.
PDP spokesperson, Nqobizitha Khumalo, said Mafume was recalled because he does no longer belong to the party led by Lucia Matibenga.
The mayors recalled by the MDC-T are Morgan Ncube of Beitbridge, Chengetai Marova (Marondera) and Joseph Mazhale (Gwanda). The MDC-T also recalled several councilors in these cities, including eight in Bulawayo, said to be linked with the Movement for Democratic Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa, whose leadership of the MDC was nullified by the Supreme Court.
MDC-T presidential spokesperson, Khaliphani Pugeni, dismissed reports that they are working with the ruling Zanu PF in recalling the councilors in order to appoint commissioners to run towns and cities.
“It’s painful to recall councilors. Our party understands that but the bottom line is that we are supposed to follow the law. What can we do when people decide to leave our party? There is nothing we can do under such circumstances. But I wish to assure you that we are not going to allow towns and cities to be run by commissioners established by the government. This won’t happen.”
In a statement, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson, Priscila Chigumba, said they have lifted restrictions on by-elections and other electoral processes, which were crippled by COVID-19.
Chigumba said, “The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission would like to inform the public that it has lifted with immediate effect the suspension of electoral activities following measures taken by Government to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Electoral timelines for all the pending by-elections will be published in the press through notices in due course.”