SIX Gwanda councillors elected on an MDC Alliance ticket have shifted their political allegiance to the rival MDC-T led by Thokhozani Khupe.
This came at a time Khupe’s party has been recalling elected MDC Alliance officials who refused to disown Nelson Chamisa’s leadership after the controversial Supreme Court ruling that adjudged his ascendancy to the helm of the party as
Sources yesterday told Southern Eye that all six councillors from Gwanda had joined Khupe’s party and on Sunday held a meeting with acting spokesperson Khaliphani Phugeni, who is in charge of Matabeleland South affairs.
The MDC-T confirmed the development in a statement and said more senior MDC Alliance officials in the province also turned up for the meeting in a clear sign of their shifted allegiance to Khupe.
“The MDC-T acting national spokesperson Khaliphani Phugeni met with Gwanda Municipality councillors in his capacity as the standing committee deployee to Matabeleland South province,” the MDC-T said.
“The meeting was also attended by the Matabeleland South proportional representation legislator Lindiwe Maphosa and provincial leaders. The councillors were led by mayor, Cllr Jastone Mazhale and his deputy Cllr Ponalo Maphala.
“Gwanda Municipality has six MDC councillors and all of them attended the meeting. The deliberations were mainly centred on activating the party’s 2014 structures, preparations for the extra-ordinary congress; party building and cohesion and preparations for 2023.”
However, Sesil Zvidzai, the MDC Alliance secretary for local government and rural development, said the councillors had betrayed their voters.
“We need a new Zimbabwe where people are free to speak, respect the rule of law and people’s free choices,” Zvidzai said.
“The MDC Alliance councillors were elected by MDC Alliance members and supporters. The people of Gwanda are behind the MDC Alliance, and will continue to speak against the absurdities of rulings made by captured courts. How on earth can MDC-T inherit councillors from the MDC Alliance?
“The future will judge the courts, captured institutions and the captors very harshly. The March to a new Zimbabwe, a Zimbabwe of opportunity and freedom is in the near horizon.”
Sources said the councillors pledged their loyalty to the MDC-T and vowed to work hard to mobilise for the 2023 elections.