Four opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) councillors in Chivhu made a dramatic exit during a full council meeting in protest. Their actions were in response to allegations that Zanu PF councillors had covertly taken control of strategic committee chairmanship positions.
Zanu PF had secured a majority in Chikomba Rural District Council with 25 wards compared to CCC’s five. However, the CCC councillors representing Chivhu town voiced their discontent, claiming that Zanu PF had imposed a rural ward councillor as the town board chair, despite CCC’s victory in all urban wards.
In addition, the opposition councillors accused Zanu PF of appointing their own councillors to key committee positions without involving the full council in the decision-making process.
In a letter addressed to the Chikomba RDC chief executive officer, the CCC councillors sought the nullification of the procedures that led to the alleged imposition of rural ward councillors in handling Chivhu town affairs. They claimed that the appointment of committees was carried out by individuals who were not part of the council, which they believed violated the RDC Act and the Constitution.
In response, the chief executive officer advised the councillors to bring their grievances to the next full council meeting for discussion and resolution.
Chikomba RDC council chairperson, who is also a Zanu PF councillor, Israel Dhikinya, defended the council’s decision to involve rural councillors in the town board. He argued that there were rural wards with urban interests that needed representation on the board. Dhikinya also stated that the complaining councillors were not present during the meeting where the decisions were made.
The issue highlights the ongoing tensions between opposition and ruling party councillors in Chivhu, with disagreements arising over committee positions and the involvement of rural councillors in urban affairs.