Opposition MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa has said it is investigating how a known ally of rival MDC-T’s Douglas Mwonzora was elected Deputy Mayor of Mutare recently.
The local government authority is dominated by MDC Alliance councillors hence the suggestion that some councillors might have silently defected to MDC-T.
Farai 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.
Mutare Mayor Blessing Tandi confirmed Bhiza’s election. He said:
“We had a Special Council meeting where elections were done.”
Mutare City Council had a total of 18 MDC Alliance councillors but Mwonzora last month recalled seven MDC Alliance councillors leaving 12 councillors.
Out of the remaining 12 councillors, seven voted for Bhiza who openly defected to Mwonzora.
Bhiza replaces the former MDC Alliance Deputy Mayor, Kudakwashe Chisango.
A councillor who declined to be named said the election enhances Mwonzora’s dominance in the council. Said the councillor.
“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.”
Meanwhile, MDC Alliance Manicaland spokesperson, David Panganai, said the party was yet to establish the reasons for the defeat. Panganai said:
“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.
“The party is investigating this election and the residents and party faithful will be informed.
“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.”
A number of MDC Alliance officials have since 2019 defected to MDC-T after the latter started recalling those who were aligned to Chamisa.
– Zim Morning Post