In a surprising turn of events, the self-styled Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) has initiated a wave of recalls within Chinhoyi Municipality, resulting in the removal of five CCC councillors.
Sengezo Tshabangu, the self-imposed interim secretary general of the CCC, cited the reason for their dismissal as “ceasing to be members of the party.”
Among the councillors who faced the axe is Dyke Makumbi, the former mayor and representative of Ward 12. This is not the first time Makumbi has been recalled from his position. In 2020, then MDC-T interim president Thokozani Khupe removed him, along with his deputy and four other councillors, on allegations of “unrepentant treacherous behaviour.”
The list of recalled councillors also includes Lovemore Kurwakumire from Ward 10, Ninion Verandeni from Ward 9, and proportional representatives Dorcas Marunga and Florence Masache.
Maxwell Kaitano, the Town Clerk of Chinhoyi, confirmed the recent developments, stating, “We received communication regarding the recalls from the ministry, which we promptly acted upon by informing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) about the vacancies.”
After the elections held in August, the CCC secured 12 elected seats out of the 15 wards, while Zanu PF obtained two seats, and one councillor ran as an independent candidate.
Thus far, several councillors have managed to escape Tshabangu’s recall campaign. The remaining councillors who have retained their positions are Good Sairos from Ward 1, Richard Vitirunyu from Ward 3, Garikai Dendera from Ward 5, mayor Owen Charuza from Ward 6, Anorld Muronga from Ward 7, and David Malunga from Ward 8. Deputy mayor Chipo Mhlotswa from Ward 14 and women’s quota representative Abigail Sauti have also been spared.
The ongoing series of recalls has sparked intrigue and speculation within Chinhoyi, as residents ponder the implications for the municipality’s political landscape. As the affected councillors are ousted one by one, Tshabangu’s motives and future plans remain a subject of keen interest among local observers.
The Chinhoyi Municipality now faces the task of filling the vacant positions and ensuring the smooth functioning of local governance. All eyes are on ZEC as they prepare to oversee the necessary by-elections that will determine the new representatives for the wards affected by the recalls.