Mwonzora withdraws recall on councillor, forces scrapping of by-election

HARARE – MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora’s recent recalls on elected opposition representatives turned farcical last week when the politician was forced to reverse the recall of Victoria Falls Ward 8 Councillor Josepha Dzangai he had mistakenly taken for a Nelson Chamisa loyalist.

The reversal, perhaps the first since the hawkish politician began a series of recalls on opposition politicians loyal to his nemesis, also forced the cancellation of a by-election called to replace him.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) confirmed the development in a statement announcing the scrapping of the by-election for Victoria Falls’ Ward 8.

“This notice serves to advise the public that the Election Notice published by the Commission on 20 October 2022 on the occurrence of a vacancy in Ward 8 of Victoria Falls Municipality is hereby withdrawn,” ZEC Chief Elections Officer Utloile Silaigwana wrote Friday.

“This withdrawal follows a letter dated 3 November 2022 by the Town Clerk of Victoria Falls Municipality advising the Commission that the MDC-T had erroneously recalled the incumbent Councillor.”

Mwonzora October this year issued recalls on MDC Alliance councillors in Binga, Gweru and Victoria Falls accusing them of being loyal to Chamisa’s Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).

This led to ZEC proclaiming by-elections in the respective wards.

MDC-T spokesperson Witness Dube attempted to tidy up the mess in comments to ZimLive Friday saying Councillor Dzangai “had been erroneously recalled because processes to determine his membership had not been completed”.

“The party has profusely apologised to him.”

He added, “Membership to the party is subject to our party constitution, and if he is expelled from the party because of violating his membership, he has to be recalled.

“Put simply, our party constitution Article 5 provides for the expulsion of any member who ‘joins or supports’ another party while holding on the party membership.

“Party organs have to determine whether he has ‘joined’ or is ‘supported’ another party.”

Mwonzora fell out with Chamisa after the former allies were locked up in a fierce tug-of-war for the MDC Alliance’s leadership following the death of founding party leader Morgan Tsvangirai 2018.

Chamisa has since formed his CCC party.

MPs and councillors who have sided with Chamisa have invited recalls by Mwonzora who was granted rights to the opposition when the party feud spilled into the courts 2020.

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