MDC sacks Victoria Falls mayor for defying party directive

Somvelo Dlamini

VICTORIA FALLS – The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has fired the Victoria Falls mayor, just over a month after he was elected into office.

The MDC accuses Somvelo Dlamini of defying a party directive on who should be mayor in the tourist resort.

Ward 1 councillor Margaret Valley was the party’s pick for mayor, and Dlamini had been advised to run for deputy mayor. Instead, the ward 9 councillor went for the big one and prevailed by eight votes to Valley’s three when councillors voted on September 7.

In a letter dated October 20, 2018, and signed by Matabeleland North provincial secretary Mxolisi Ndlovu, the Nelson Chamisa-led party accused Dlamini of working at cross-purposes with the party’s objectives.

Dlamini was handed the letter on Wednesday, a day before he was due to officiate at a provincial World Habitat Day occasion hosted in Victoria Falls.

Ndlovu advised him tat he was expelled from the party as an elected councillor pending ratification by the party’s National Council in line with their constitution.

Dlamini was accused of “bringing the name of the party into disrepute or ridicule; in any way or manner interfering or acting in any act which undermines or hinders the future of the party’s aims and objectives; disrespecting and undermining any organ or elected official including failure to respect protocol of the party and conducting yourself in a manner likely to provoke serious divisions or a breakdown in the party.”

Ndlovu added: “In light of the above charges, laid against you by the provincial executive committee based on powers vested on it in terms of section 3.6.3 of the constitution, you ae hereby suspended from attending any council business on the party ticket.

“It’s with deep regret that the provincial executive committee, having sat on October 20, has resolved to expel you from the position of councillor for ward 9 of the Victoria Falls Municipality. The decision came about following a series of your continued breaches of party standing rules and regulations and protocol as outlined.

“You’ve continued to defy the party’s position on the mayorship issue where it was agreed that you stand as a deputy mayor and you’ve continued to defy the province and the party president on the same issue.”

On Wednesday, the MDC fired Henry Muchatibaya as mayor in Chegutu for similar reasons.

Six councillors were also suspended from the party in Chegutu for defying a directive on the election of the mayor early last month.

The MDC has defended its decision to interfere with the choice of mayor by councillors, saying it was looking for competent candidates to lead local authorities. Councillors underwent vetting and their CVs were considered.

“The mayors are selected by the whip guided by the president, to ensure that the promises made during the elections are fulfilled,” Chamisa’s spokesman Nkululeko Sibanda said.

“We are taking very strong measures to ensure that we achieve gender equality. We want to ensure that our appointments support affirmative action.

“President Chamisa has insisted that we have a female mayor in Victoria Falls and Kwekwe, not only because they are the only women available but because they have the capacity to deliver.” – ZimLive