Biti moves to save Mayor

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BY BLESSED MHLANGA

MDC Alliance vice president Tendai Biti, and his party PDP, has approached the High Court and parliament seeking to stop the recall of recently elected Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume from council and fellow legislators by his erstwhile colleagues.

In a letter addressed to the speaker of the House of Assembly, Jacob Mudenda, PDP secretary general Settlement Chikwinya said Biti was the legitimate leader of the party.

The move comes amid reports a breakaway camp fronted by former MDC women’s assembly chairperson Lucia Matibenga was making efforts to recall Mafume from the Harare City Council.

“The People’s Democratic Party, a partner in the MDC Alliance whose members are represented in parliament, has noted a purported attempt to recall PDP elected councilors. We anticipate that the same mischief will be tried with respect to members of parliament,” wrote Chikwinya.

Although the MDC Alliance has insisted that it’s a political party and that it collapsed all its partners into one party, Chikwinya wrote that he was the secretary general of the PDP.

“I am the Secretary General authorized to handle all party correspondence, the party has no resolution to recall any of its MP’s… kindly note that we have since filled an application to interdict one Ben Rukanda from masquerading as the secretary general,” wrote Chikwinya.

Biti also presented to Mudenda a certificate of registration of PDP as his personal intellectual property, owned and held by him.

The lawyer register the name and logo of PDP with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) on May 17, 2018 and has indicated he is willing to sue anyone who uses the name or logo of PDP which he owns.

Chikwinya told NewsDay, that they remain full members of the MDC Alliance party which is lead by Nelson Chamisa and as former PDP members and owners of the name, they had to protect the name from being abused.

“Parliament has already made a decision that the MDC Alliance is a coalition and has allowed the MDC-T to recall members of parliament, while we disagree with that position, we have a responsibility to protect the PDP which is now part of the party called the MDC Alliance,” he said.

Mafume’s life hangs in balance after Matibenga’s camp last week wrote to local government minister July Moyo recalling him from council.

If the recall is implemented Mafume will become the shortest Harare Mayor to serve in that post.