A REBELLION in the MDC-Alliance led councils over imposition of mayoral candidates has gone out of hand forcing the party’s leader Mr Nelson Chamisa, who is being labelled a dictator, to summon all councils in a bid to contain the volatile situation.
On Tuesday, he met councillors from Victoria Falls where his preferred mayoral candidate councillor Margaret Varley lost to Somvelo Dlamini and yesterday he met Bulawayo councillors.
Mr Chamisa’s spokesperson Dr Nkululeko Sibanda confirmed the meetings.
He said Mr Chamisa or his representatives would be meeting more councillors next week.
Dr Sibanda defended Mr Chamisa’s belligerent and dictatorial tendencies when dealing with party councillors saying he had the right to “whip” them if they don’t toe the party line.
“The president will necessarily whip all councillors that don’t follow party directions and if there are those who have done that they will be whipped, yes. He has the right to do that. They have to follow the party’s instructions as required by the party’s constitution. The smooth running of the councils is very important.
“The long and short of it, just as the case in any political party, any representative sent by the party to represent it in Government must be willing to implement the party’s policies. All councillors are being told and all councillors know that they have to follow the party’s policies because that is what the people voted for.
“The council (meetings) agenda is about the 100 plan. He was also whipping the councillors as he should just to make sure that they are following the party’s priorities. The electorate will be questioning the party when things don’t go right. There is nothing out of the ordinary. He will be meeting councillors from everywhere next week. He was meeting councillors from Bulawayo today (yesterday).”
Before the mayoral elections in Victoria Falls, residents and councillors protested against what they termed imposition of Margaret Varley as mayoral candidate and, instead, voted in Somvelo Dlamini.
Recently, all opposition councillors from Masvingo were summoned to Harare for a crisis meeting where they accused of forging an unholy alliance with Zanu-PF.
Mr Chamisa later forced the newly-elected mayor in Masvingo, Advocate Collins Maboke, to resign and newly-elected Chegutu mayor councillor Henry Muchatibaya to do the same because both were not his preferred candidates.
It is understood that Mr Chamisa is trying to use local authority seats to consolidate his power against internal rivals such as Messrs Tendai Biti and Douglas Mwonzora.
The two are believed to be angling to topple Mr Chamisa and recently Mr Chamisa diluted Mr Biti’s powers by unilaterally co-opting him into the integrated MDC as deputy chair.
He also handpicked Ms Tabitha Khumalo as the leader of the opposition in Parliament ahead of Mr Biti.