The MDC-T led by President Douglas Mwonzora has put his foot in the door of Mutare City Council following the election of Farai Bhiza as the city’s Deputy Mayor.
Bhiza polled seven votes against five from Simon Chabuka an MDC Alliance councillor in an election held at a Special Full Council meeting held at council chambers last Friday.
Bhiza who openly defected to Mwonzora was voted into office by MDC Alliance councillors who have reportedly aligned with Mwonzora to replace recalled former MDC Alliance Deputy Mayor Kudakwashe Chisango.
Mutare Mayor Blessing Tandi confirmed Bhiza’s election.
“We had a Special Council meeting where elections were done,” he said.
Mutare City Council had a total of 18 MDC Alliance councillors.
Mwonzora last month recalled seven MDC Alliance councillors leaving 12 councillors. Out of the remaining 12 councillors, seven voted for Bhiza who is aligned to Mwonzora.
Bhiza’s election has amplified Mwonzora’s dominance in the council that was hugely conquered by Nelson Chamisa led MDC Alliance.
A councillor who declined to be named said the election has shown that the councillors are in support of Mwonzora.
“You can see for yourself that the results have spoken. Bhiza is aligned to Mwonzora and that means all the councillors that voted him have crossed the floor to Mwonzora. Those that have voted for him have sold out. This is the sad reality that people are failing to accept that Mwonzora and his party have taken over. We will wait and see how things will go at council,” said the councillor.
MDC Alliance Manicaland spokesperson David Panganai said the party was yet to establish the reasons for the defeat.
“Yes, we lost the election and we are not yet very sure of what really happened. As a party we are going to do a post mortem to see what happened,” he said.
“The party is investigating this election and the residents and party faithful will be informed.”
Commenting on the possibility of the selling out of the MDC Alliance councillors Panganayi said: “If anyone voted against the party while purporting to be loyal, surely, they would have sold out. On the other hand if they would have made a conscious decision to vote, otherwise it would have been their right and it is not selling out.”
Mutare Mayor Blessing Tandi said there was need for council to move on.
“As council we need to move on and deliver basic service delivery to our people. I am calling the council management and policy makers to have team work,” Tandi said.
Mwonzora said he is geared to rebuild the entire opposition structure in the country.
At the recently held MDC-T Extra-Ordinary Congress, which was marred by violence, Mwonzora polled an emphatic 883 votes against Khupe’s 118 during last month’s vote to become the MDC T president.
Elias Mudzuri and Morgan Komichi got 14 and nine votes respectively.
— Zim Morning Post