The dismissal of the 12 last Friday came a few days after the release of a survey by US-based Freedom House showing that the MDC-T ‘s support in Zimbabwe has been eclipsed by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party.
While Tsvangirai’s spin-doctors have tried to rubbish the survey, claiming it was fundamentally flawed; insiders said the MDC-T leader was taking the Freedom House report seriously, saying he had his eyes firmly on the forthcoming presidential election where he is likely to face his nemesis President Mugabe.
Party insiders said the move to fired councillors was part of attempts to clean his party image ahead of polls Mugabe wants held this year.
A number of MDC-T officials have been implicated in corrupt activities since the consummation of the power-sharing pact, particularly in the MDC-T dominated councils.
As part of efforts to spruce up its image, the MDC National Executive on Thursday publicly released for the first time the names of the 12 axed councillors.
The release of the names followed last Friday’s meeting in which the MDC-T National Executive received a report from national deputy secretary-general, Tapiwa Mashakada, who chaired the commission that audited the state of the 10 MDC-led councils’ operations.
The commission was set up in March this year.
From Harare the dismissed are; Emmanuel Chiroto, the Deputy Mayor and councillor of Ward 42, Peter Marange of Ward 49, Phumulani Musagwiza of Ward 22 and Xavier Vengesai of Ward 28.
In Gweru there is Tedius Chimombe of Ward 9 and mayor of the city, Clemence Kwaru of Ward 17 and Holly Dzuda of Ward 2.
Bindura has Ivory Matanhire of Ward 4, Vengai Mudadi of Ward 8, and Rickson Kaseke of Ward 11.
In Zvishavane there Alois Zhou and Kwekwe has Johannes Ngozo of Ward 11.
“After deliberating on the audit, the leadership unanimously resolved to dismiss the councillors after they were found guilty of corruption,” said Mashakada.
He said the action taken by the MDC leadership would be intensified across the country allegedly to “reclaim Zimbabwe’s self-respect; a climate of accountability; and push for zero tolerance on corruption and all evils.
“The MDC assures the people of Zimbabwe that the crusade against corruption is in full swing and unstoppable until we clean up all sections of our society of the corruption scourge that was introduced into Zimbabwe by the Zanu (PF) dictatorship in 1980.
What has happened in Harare, Gweru, Bindura, Kwekwe and Zvishavane is part of the MDC’s
broad anti-corruption campaign within and outside the party,” he said.
He added that his party strongly believes in restoring the people’s dignity, security, prosperity and basic freedoms.
“Despite these few rotten apples that have been dismissed, the National Executive has expressed satisfaction over the performance of the MDC-run councils, especially in areas of water provision and refuse collection,” said Mashakada.