Party spokesman Nelson Chamisa told Newsreel that after the executive made the decision on Wednesday, party President Morgan Tsvangirai and other leaders on Thursday took the matter to over 3000 supporters and members of the residents associations. He said the meeting unanimously supported the decision to fire the council members.

Last year the party suspended former mayor Israel Marange, and the entire Chitungwiza executive, over allegations of corruptly selling residential stands. At the same time the MP for Zengeza East, Alexio Musundire was suspended over charges he organised violence against fellow party members. A dossier forensically outlining corrupt transactions and property deals involving members of the council was recently handed to Tsvangirai.

“We have put the interests of the people first. This is not the end, it’s the beginning. We are going to uproot the tree of corruption,” Chamisa said. He explained that although the councillors had been fired from the party they would not necessarily lose their seats since they were voted in by the electorate.

He however said the next step was for government to remove them from their positions, and he was confident the Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo would not protect ‘bad apples.’

Chamisa said the punishment was a clear message that the MDC was different from other political parties and would not tolerate corruption. “This is not a Tsika Mutanda drive (witch hunt),” he said adding that there would be no ‘sacred cows in the party.’ He said the MDC-T would be announcing new measures to deal with corruption within its ranks.

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