THE MDC Alliance has fired Victoria Falls Mayor, Councillor Somvelo Dlamini, on allegations of bringing the party into disrepute by defying directives and undermining protocol among other charges.
The expulsion comes a day after the troubled Nelson Chamisa-led party fired Chegutu mayor, Clr Henry Muchatibaya, and suspended six councillors from the party for defying a directive on the election of the mayor early last month.
Clr Dlamini’s charges are premised on the fact that he allegedly defied the party’s decree where he was supposed to stand as deputy mayor and leave the mayorship for preferred candidate, Clr Margaret Valley of Ward 1.
MDC Alliance Matabeleland North provincial secretary, Mr Mxolisi Ndlovu, advised Clr Dlamini of his expulsion in a letter dated October 20, 2018.
The letter was delivered to Clr Dlamini in Victoria Falls on Wednesday.
Mr Ndlovu could not be reached for comment on his mobile phone yesterday while the party’s national chairman Mr Morgen Komichi’s mobile phone continuously rang unanswered.
According to the letter, Clr Dlamini ceases to be a party member and Mayor with immediate effect.
The allegations levelled against him revolve around defying party directives, emanating from the fact that he stood as a candidate for mayor where he beat Clr Valley by eight votes to three.
Clr Dlamini allegedly violated the party’s disciplinary code of conduct and section 2 and subsection 2.1 of the constitution.
“For whatever reason, 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,” reads part of the letter.
“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, we hereby suspend you from attending any council business on the party ticket.”
Mr Ndlovu said Clr Dlamini is expelled from the party as an elected councillor for Ward 9 pending further action by the national council in line with the party constitution.
“It’s with deep regret that the provincial executive committee having sat on the 20th of October 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 breach 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 as regards the same issue,” added Mr Ndlovu.
The letter was copied to the party’s Ward 9 and district executive committees as well as national council and Victoria Falls Municipality management.
Victoria Falls Town Clerk, Mr Ronnie Dube, confirmed knowledge of the issue but said the local authority was yet to receive formal communication from the party.
The party will have to write to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde July Moyo, informing him about its decision and the Minister will in turn advise the local authority after which the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) can declare the post vacant.
Clr Dlamini said he was not ready to comment on the issue.
However, Victoria Falls residents accused the MDC Alliance leadership of betraying its members and vowed to stand by Clr Dlamini.
“We voted for Dlamini because we knew and trusted him and he made us know Chamisa who is now betraying him. All it means is that we can no longer trust this party because we are as good as expelled as well,” said a resident, Mr Phumulani Ncube.