Politics

Gwanda Mayor recalled for openly declaring he does not recognise Khupe: MDC-T

THE opposition MDC-T led by Thokozani Khupe says the party recalled the Mayor of Gwanda after he openly said he did not recognize Khupe and was loyal to rival MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.

The MDC-T has been on a countrywide recall of elected officials including MPs and Senators, leading to accusations that they are on a ploy to cripple the operations of local authorities and give Zanu-PF an edge when by-elections arise.

In an interview with the State-owned Sunday News, MDC-T national spokesperson Mr Khaliphani Phugeni said they were not on a witch hunt but they just wanted to weed out corruption and ensure that their councillors offer the best possible service delivery to residents.

Mr Phugeni dismissed claims that they wanted to cripple operations of local authorities saying they were only targeting corrupt individuals and those that had publicly declared that they had ceased being members of the MDC-T.

“I will give you the example of the Gwanda Mayor, Jastone Mazhale we had to recall him after he declared that after we met with them as councillors he had just come in to listen but did not recognise us, honestly how then do you keep a councillor who makes such declarations.

“Even the former Deputy Mayor of Bulawayo, Tinashe Kambarami, he came out in the media declaring that he recognises the MDC Alliance as his parent party not the MDC-T clearly he rendered himself not part of the party hence we had no choice but to recall him,” said Mr Phugeni.

Questioned on whether those councillors who were not recalled had recognised the Supreme Court ruling which put Khupe at the helm of the MDC-T, Mr Phugeni could neither confirm nor deny but only stated that they were being guided by the provincial executives who were in contact with the councillors on the ground.

“I am part of the MDC-T local government cluster where we have started looking closely at the operations of our councillors since 2018, we are focusing on issues to do with service delivery taking for example housing delivery where we discovered that some residents have been on the housing waiting list since the 1980s.

“We are serious about this exercise that we are even targeting our members who have left council, where if we find them to have engaged in corrupt activities during their time in office, we will surely be descending on them,” warned Mr Phugeni.

He, however, expressed confidence that most of their councillors were aware of their mandate revealing that the party had recently engaged Bulawayo City Council councillors on the Luveve water contamination matter with the hope of bringing a solution to the crisis that had resulted in the death of 13 people in the suburb with close to 2 000 residents being infected.

“When that outbreak occurred I was part of a delegation from the party that convened a meeting with Bulawayo Mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni and his councillors with the hope of having a better understanding of the issues and also encouraging them to find a solution to the problem, and you will note that after that meeting the councillors worked hard to push council workers, now the problem has been largely addressed,” he said.

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