Tensions emerge in Kariba after contentious mayoral election
The mayoral election in Kariba this week exposed divisions within the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party. George Masendu, a senior CCC official and former mayor, was reportedly ordered by party leader Nelson Chamisa to take the mayorship uncontested.
However, in the council chambers, Ralph Maoneyi received several nominations and secured seven votes to Masendu’s five. A delegation from CCC had observed the process but slipped away after the results, signalling displeasure.
Sources say the top CCC officials had clear instructions for Masendu to win, as he is the most veteran councillor. But some defied this diktat and backed Maoneyi instead. Afterward, an urgent meeting was called where the newly elected mayor was pressured to resign for Masendu. Threats were made about possible recalls against dissenting councillors.
Tensions have long simmered between Masendu and his colleagues. Earlier, he lost a primary contest for a national assembly seat to Shine Gwangwaba. Then Masendu ran for a vacant council seat instead.
The power struggle and closed-door maneuvers come at a sensitive time as CCC works to consolidate its presence in local government after major election gains. With twelve councillors total, their eleven-seat majority leaves little room for internal divisions.
Moving forward, how the party manages dissent and balances internal democracy with central directives could impact its unity and governance of Kariba going forward. Local dynamics may provide early tests for CCC’s leadership approach.