On Thursday High Court judge, Justice Thompson Mabhikwa ruled that the election of Kambarami as Ward 3 councillor was in violation of section 119 (2) (e) of the Electoral Act following his conviction of theft. Kambarami was in July last year convicted of theft by Bulawayo provincial magistrate, Ms Sharon Rosemani.
He was fined $80 or 18 days in prison for stealing an extension cord from an electrician he had hired to work at his offices. Justice Mabhikwa said Kambarami’s failure to notify his party and Zec was in itself an act of dishonesty and an illegality, which rendered his subsequent election a nullity.
The ruling followed an application by 1893 Mthwakazi Restoration Movement Trust, through its lawyer Mr Godfrey Nyoni of Moyo and Nyoni Legal Practitioners seeking an order nullifying Mr Kambarami’s election as councillor for Ward 3 and the city’s deputy Mayor.
However, the ruling has thrown the MDC-Alliance into mayhem with party insiders revealing there was already bickering on who among the crop of councillors would replace Mr Kambarami as deputy mayor. The sources revealed that while, Ward One councillor, Mlandu Ncube — who had gone head to head with Mr Kambarami for the position in September last year — was the initial front- runner, Ward 17 councillor, Sikhululekile Moyo was emerging as a possible challenger for the position.
“Clr Moyo is now a favourite and is the preferred candidate for the party’s vice-president, Professor Welshman Ncube who is trying to be the kingmaker in the province. Further, Adv Chamisa is desperate to bring sanity in the province hence he is bound to listen to Prof Ncube and eventually order councillors to endorse Clr Moyo,” said a source.
“I am just arriving in the city as I was away in Gweru hence I am not privy with what is the latest pertaining the position but it will definitely be a huge honour for me if I am elected as the first woman deputy mayor in the city.
“I am obviously willing and ready to serve as the city’s deputy mayor, I will wait for guidance from my party and if they see it fit to elevate me to the position I will gladly accept,” said Clr Moyo.
Efforts to get a comment from Clr Ncube were fruitless, however, he is on record declaring that he would eventually be the city’s deputy mayor after he had been initially seconded to the position during a caucus vote but was eventually beaten to the position by Mr Kambarami.
Contacted for comment the party’s provincial chairperson, Alderman James Sithole referred this reporter to the provincial spokesperson, Mr Swithern Chirowodza who he said had the official party position relating to the matter.
In a statement, Mr Chirowodza was defiant saying as a party they still regarded Mr Kambarami as the city’s deputy mayor.
“We are appealing to the Supreme Court . . .”