MDC considers clearing expelled councillor

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC is considering clearing an expelled Chitungwiza councillor to contest in primary elections as reward for blowing the whistle on corruption in the municipality.

MDC sacked all the councillors it had in the dormitory town in January 2010, barely two years after they had been elected in March 2008 on allegations of corruption.

But last year the party gave the councillors another chance to apply to re-join on condition that they were cleared by their respective wards and that they start as ordinary card carrying members.

However, the councillors were barred from representing the party in the forthcoming elections, except in special circumstances where one was caught in the crossfire of collective responsibility.

Ward 16 councillor Lorrainne Usaiwevhu, one of the 23 councillors sacked by the MDC but now credited for alerting the party about the rampant corruption by its councillors has been cleared by her ward to contest in the party primaries scheduled to start later this month.

Usaiwevhu has gone through the ward and provincial executives to clear her name and has since written to party national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa pleading for clemency, arguing “the evidence I gave to the party was found to be credible and used by the party to expel the councillors”.

“She became the eyes and ears of the party in Chitungwiza and it is only reasonable that the party allows her to continue serving in council,” reads part of a letter by her ward dated April 19 2013.

Chamisa confirmed the party was looking at Usaiwevhu’s case with a view to allowing her to contest.

“We saw her presentation and we are considering it. It’s a procedural matter and we will consider who represents the party at any level on the basis of merit,” said Chamisa.

The councillors had all been held liable for the corrupt activities but the party had noted that there could be good apples amongst them.

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.

The expulsions saw the arrest of the then mayor Israel Marange and his subsequent conviction on charges of corruption. - Mugove Tafirenyika

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