MUTARE – The Nelson Chamisa led MDC Alliance party has expelled two Mutare City councillors for violating the party’s constitution when they allegedly voted for a Douglas Mwonzora led MDC-T councillor to become Deputy Mayor.
The elections, held recently, saw Farai Bhiza (MDC -T) defeating Simon Chabuka (MDC Alliance) by seven votes against five respectively.
The elections were held to replace former Deputy Mayor Kudakwashe Chisango who was part of the seven councillors recalled by the MDC-T in December.
Bhiza polled seven votes against five for MDC Alliance candidate Simon Chabuka in an election held at a special full council meeting.
Bhiza, who had earlier defected to Mwonzora, was voted into office with the aid of MDC Alliance councillors who have reportedly aligned with Mwonzora.
He replaced recalled former MDC Alliance deputy mayor, Kudakwashe Chisango.
According to the MDC Alliance leadership in Manicaland, an investigation team unanimously detected that councillors Elizabeth Tsoro Ward 2 and Tsitsi Ziweya of Ward 3 in Sakubva high density suburb voted for an MDC-T candidate.
The MDC Alliance’s disciplinary committee on Monday found Tsoro and Ziweya guilty of contravening section 5:10(a) of the party’s constitution.
Section 5:10 (a) reads, “A member of the Party who forms another Party or Organisation which competes with the MDC-Alliance, joins or supports a Political Party other than the MDC-Alliance or participates in an election as an independent candidate gets automatic termination of membership in these circumstances.”
MDC Alliance provincial chairman Prosper Mutseyami confirmed that the matter was regarded as misconduct and was an automatic expulsion from the party.
Said Mutseyami: “According to the party’s constitution no disciplinary hearing can ever find the two councilors not guilty of their alleged offence let alone getting lesser sentences beyond dismissals.”
While Ziweya was not immediately available for a comment, Tsoro remained adamant that she is still a member of the MDC-A.
“I was not expelled and I am a member of the MDC – A. The party must not take what happened in council chambers as indiscipline because we have to take council business separately from party business,” she said.
MDC Alliance has already lost control of Mutare City Council after it took the decision last month to expel the mayor, Blessing Tandi, from the party.
The party accused Tandi of negotiating for his safety after he was spared from a recall by Mwonzora when his fellow councillors were being expelled.
The MDC Alliance has also lost control of Harare City Council following the suspension of Mayor Jacob Mafume, his deputy and other councillors.
Countrywide, the MDC-T has to date expelled dozens of councillors whose positions are yet to be filled.