Despite the suspension of by-elections, and with only a few months until the general elections, the MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora has gone on to recall three more councillors from Norton Town Council for siding with its political rival, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced last year that by-elections would not be held after November 1, 2022, because the country’s constitution prohibits polling within nine months of a general election.
As a result, the recent recall means these three council vacancies will only be filled in this year’s harmonised elections, which will be held in either July or August.
The three recalled councillors are Rosemary Chinoyera, Charles Dube and Nuchaneta Munyeveri.
Local Government and Public Works Minister, July Moyo, announced the recall in a letter dated February 27, 2023, to the North Town Clerk that he was informed by Mwonzora that the three had been expelled from the party.
Moyo said their expulsion was done in terms of Section 278 (1) as read with Section (1) (k) of the Constitution.
Section 278 states: “The seat of a mayor, chairperson of a local authority becomes vacant in the circumstances set out in section 129, as if he or she were a Member of Parliament, any reference to the Speaker or President of the Senate in Section 129 (1) (k) being construed as a reference to the minister responsible for Local Government.”
Section 129 (1) (k) reads that if one has ceased to belong to a political party of which they were a member when they were elected, they can be recalled.