The High Court has reinstated the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) councillors who were recalled from their respective councils, dismissing their recall as having no force and effect.
These are Bulawayo Ward 24 councillor, Arnold Batirai Dube, former Harare mayor Jacob Mafume and Simon Chabuka of Mutare. These three were recalled by PDP led by Lucia Matibenga in a letter dated March 28, 2022, and were consequently dismissed from their local authorities by Local Government Minister July Moyo.
In an interview with CITE, Mafume explained that the respective councils had been interdicted by the High Court from recognising the dismissal letter from Minister Moyo.
“It, therefore, means Councillor Batirai, myself and Chabuka are back in office immediately and that letter is of no force and effect. We are to continue the work that we were supposed to be doing for our wards,” he said, emphasising they could be at work right away.
“I’ve been in council and everyone was in court so there is no need to waste time. Lawyers representing the councils were also there, they know what was said and they will do what needs to be done.”
Dube told CITE that the recalls affected residents who expected their elected officials to represent them and not be recalled willy-nilly.
“Now I can go back to work and serve the residents as these recalls serve no purpose,” he said.
The three councillors were represented by Tonderai Bhatasara of Mupanga Bhatasara who appeared before High Court judge Justice Lucy Mungwari.
Their recall was triggered after PDP argued that they had ceased to be a member of the party after joining the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).
However, Dube, Mafume and Chabuka approached the High Court to challenge their recall last week arguing that they belonged to the PDP led by Tendai Biti and demanded that their recalls be declared null and void.
They also said their constitutional rights were violated.
In their challenge, they cited the local government minister, the town clerks of Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission as respondents.