MDC president Nelson Chamisa has rekindkled his fight with Masvingo mayor Collin Maboke, ordering him to resign within a week to save his council seat or face expulsion for defying party directives.
Maboke has been accused of defying a party directive after he threw his hat in the ring to challenge preferred party candidate Godfrey Kurauone and went on to win the mayoral post, with the backing of Zanu PF councillors.
The Masvingo council is MDC-dominated, with the opposition party holding seven seats while Zanu PF has three.
The opposition party had wanted Kurauone to be elected Masvingo mayor.
Maboke beat Kuraune by seven votes to three, prompting violence by some party supporters who were waiting for good news outside the Masvingo City Council chambers.
Following Maboke’s ascendency, Chamisa insisted that he should resign, but the latter dug in, hoping the matter would suffer a natural death.
But on Saturday, Chamisa, at a provincial council meeting at Mucheke Hall, demanded that Maboke should step down from the mayoral post.
“On the issue of the mayorship, Maboke has to resign. We are giving him one week to do so and he can remain councillor. If he does not resign, we will expel him from the party,” Chamisa said.
Contacted for comment, Maboke declined to indicate whether he was going to comply or defy the order.
“I am just hearing it from you, I was attending a funeral in the rural areas, so I cannot comment on that,” he said.
Sources in the party said Maboke was likely to step down and contest the by-election as an independent and could still get back the post because of his popularity.