Stakeholders and members of MDC-Alliance have blasted party leader Mr Nelson Chamisa for imposing Councillor Maphios Shumba as Chegutu mayor ahead of Councillor Henry Muchatibaya who was elected by council last week.
Clr Muchatibaya, who garnered seven votes against Clr Edward Dzeka and Clr Anywhere Mukutuma’s three and two votes respectively in the election was reportedly forced to step down.
Clr Shumba, who is being catapulted to run the town was unopposed for the deputy mayor’s post.
Some members have however, refused to be silenced and used social media to register their displeasure.
Outgoing mayor Clr Leo Gwanzura took to social media to express his disappointment with Mr Chamisa’s decision to influence the selection process and overturn the decision of elected Chegutu councillors.
“These councillors used their own resources to campaign with no party assistance. The assistance they got is the MDC-Alliance symbol. Chegutu must be left to its residents not people from Harare vasingazive kughetto. (Unfamiliar with Chegutu locations),” he said.
Cllr Muchatibaya refused to comment on his resignation, referring all questions to his superiors.
MDC-Alliance Mashonaland West provincial chairman Mr Ralph Magunje, however, defended the party’s decision saying Cllr Muchatibaya was solely to blame as he defied a clear party directive.
“Interview results indicated that Chegutu mayor is Maphios Shumba and his Deputy Mayor is Edward Dzeka. All aspiring mayors were interviewed by a party panel, which included Local Government experts plus leadership of residents associations and the candidates were then ranked based on their interview performances,” he said.
Asked on whether the party’s processes and decisions were in line with provisions of the Urban Councils Act, Mr Magunje was evasive.
“In all political party systems, there is a party caucus set up, which should ensure and safeguard mutually agreed guided democracy principles. Guided democracy principle is always at play in politics,” he said.
Acting Town Clerk Mr Jacob Chikuruwo said council was yet to receive any communication regarding the forced resignation of Clr Muchatibaya.
“The official position is that Clr Muchatibaya is still mayor as duly elected on September 4, 2018,” he said.