MDC gives expelled councillors new lifeline

HARARE - Expelled MDC councillors in Chitungwiza have been given a political lifeline following a decision by the party to readmit them after three years in the political wilderness, albeit as ordinary card-carrying members.

MDC had sacked all the 21 councillors in the dormitory town in January 2010, barely two years after they had been elected into office on allegations of corruption.

Party national chairperson Lovemore Moyo, who led the Chitungwiza investigations, confirmed to the Daily News that the councillors had been given another chance.

Moyo said the party had agreed to readmit the councillors on the condition they are cleared by their respective wards and that they start as ordinary card-carrying members.

“It is a procedural matter because whenever a member of the party is expelled for whatever reason they are allowed to re-join if they apply. The councillors in Chitungwiza did apply and we have guided them accordingly,” he said.

“They have to join at branch level via the ward and they will be card-carrying members if they have been approved by their respective wards,” said Moyo.

Moyo said the councillors would not be allowed to represent the party in the forthcoming elections as they are automatically disqualified because of their dirty past.

“They cannot contest in the forthcoming elections unless one was caught in the crossfire of collective responsibility which we used when we expelled them. If their wards put a strong case in support then there may be variations.

“Otherwise the rule is, for one to stand, you must have a clean record, free of corruption and must have served for a minimum of two years. They are starting off as new members plus they were found guilty of corruption so they are out,” he added.

The 21 councillors had all been held liable for the corrupt activities but the party had noted that there could be good apples amongst the bad ones hence the expected variations in terms of representing the party again during elections.

Almost the entire council worked for virtually the entire term without a party to report to after the expulsion by the party’s national council. - Mugove Tafirenyika

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