Wednesday, 13 May 2020

TWO MDC MAYORS FOR VIC FALLS : MINISTER DECIDES


LOCAL Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo has said Councillor Somveli Dlamini remains the legitimate mayor for Victoria Falls as he can only be removed from office through a general election or a tribunal set by Government.

Minister Moyo wrote to the municipality yesterday nullifying an election conducted by 10 councillors which replaced Clr Dlamini with ward 5 Clr Richard Mguni last Thursday.

This puts to rest a tussle for power between Clr Dlamini and Clr Mguni which had seen the former disowning a resignation letter he purportedly wrote in March, as he claimed he remains the legitimate mayor for the town.

Minister Moyo confirmed writing to the municipality yesterday. “He was not fired from being mayor. He can only be fired or removed in terms of the Constitution or if there is a tribunal set of which I haven’t put any. What it means is that since he has been reinstated, he returns to the office of the Mayor,” said Minister Moyo.

The letter the Minister wrote reads in part: “It’s been brought to my attention that on May 7, 2020 at a meeting of Victoria Falls Municipality an election was held for the position of mayor of the town of Victoria Falls. Please note that in terms of Section 48 and 103 of the Urban Councils Act, a mayor is elected to the office after a general election and holds office until an election or until a successor is appointed. The Constitution in Section 278 provides for the due processes for the removal of a mayor or councillor and following my evenly referenced letter dated 5 May 2020, Clr Somveli Dlamini was reinstated as a councillor. As such, there is no provision for an election of a new mayor as Clr Dlamini regains his post until the end of his term of office.

“In terms of Section 316, I hereby order that the election of a new mayor of Victoria Falls is nullified and Clr Dlamini continues in the office of mayor.”

Minister Moyo reinstated Clr Dlamini as a councillor for Ward 9 last Thursday, on the basis of a letter written to him by Mr Douglas Mwonzora, who is secretary general of the MDC-T, as per the recent Supreme Court ruling which recognised Dr Thokozani Khupe as the party leader. 

The local authority’s other 10 councillors had quickly replaced him with Clr Mguni in the mayor’s office saying he comes back as an ordinary councillor because he resigned.

Clr Dlamini, who had been in the political doldrums since February 24 when the MDC-Alliance leadership expelled him on allegations of violating party rules and disrespecting protocol, said he never resigned.

He dismissed last week’s election as null and void, saying the meeting was bogus.

Clr Dlamini has accused the MDC-Alliance of forcing him to sign the alleged resignation letter, an assertion dismissed by the party’s secretary Mr Charlton Hwende. The 10 councillors yesterday convened an urgent closed-door meeting before Minister Moyo’s letter to the council, where they resolved to rally behind Clr Mguni.

Clr Dlamini said he was not invited and only got to know about the meeting when he visited the municipal offices when the meeting was underway.
Ward 1 Clr Margaret Varley, who is MDC-Alliance chief whip in council, called the meeting.

The nullification of Clr Mguni’s election means that he leaves before being sworn in and only five days after his election.

Clr Mguni said he had nothing against Clr Dlamini. Town Clerk Mr Ronnie Dube said the municipality will abide by Government directive. Chronicle

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