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Three wards to go 5 months without councillors after Mwonzora recalls

Opposition MDC Alliance leader Douglas Mwonzora has recalled three party councillors from Norton, five months before the country holds harmonised general elections.

Mwonzora accused them of supporting the rival opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Nelson Chamisa.

In a letter by Local Government Minister July Moyo, the recalled city leaders are, Norton Ward 9 councillor Rosemary Chinoyera, Ward 2 councillor Charles Dube and Ward 3 councillor Muchaneta Munyeveri.

“I wish to inform you that I am in receipt of a letter from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) stating that the following councilors have been expelled from the Party:-

1. Cllr Rosemary Chinoyera Ward 9

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2. Cllr Charles Dube Ward 2

3. Cllr Muchaneta Munyeveri Ward 3

“In terms of Section 278(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, as read with Section (1)k), the above-mentioned wards are now vacant.

“In terms of Section 121 of the Electoral Act, please proceed to inform the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of these vacancies,” read the letter.

This means that the affected communities are likely to go for five months without local government representatives.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said there would be no by-elections after November 1, 2022, as the supreme law prohibits any polling within nine months of a general election.

The announcement by ZEC Chairperson, Priscilla Chigumba clearly indicated that any National Assembly or local government vacancy that arises after November 1, 2022 would be filled in the 2023 harmonised elections to be held either in July or August this year.

“Section 158(3) of the constitution provides that polling in by-elections shall take place within 90 days of the vacancies occurring unless the vacancies occur within nine months before a general election is due to be held,” she said.

“The last general election in 2018 was held on July 31, 2018. It is therefore anticipated from a reading of Section 158(3) of the Constitution that general elections will be held on a date to be set during the month of either July or August 2023.”