CCC Councillor Excluded From Nomination List
The recently appointed Alderman for Chiredzi Town Council, Gibson Hwende, a member of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) was excluded from the nomination list for the post.
Hwende was nominated together with two other candidates, John Manganye (UK) based and Ropafaadzo Makumire, Ward 3 Councillor (Independent).
Hwende has served two straight terms as a member of the opposition, while the other two candidates contested in the 2018 elections as independent candidates. Manganye rebelled after losing the primary elections, and Makumire won the council seat without any political affiliation.
Hwende declined to comment on the issue, stating that he will only do so after following the party’s procedures. Bulawayo24 quotes him as saying:
All that I can say is that I am shocked. I will comment only after we have exhausted all the channels relating to this process.
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Hwende’s supporters claimed that the nomination process was flawed because he was not informed of the situation before the consensus day. They also believed that the panel of Commissioners was biased as it included people with interests in some of the candidates.
The Commissioners were Marko Shoko of the National Constitution Assembly (NCA) party and Josphat Tizirai, the Director of the United Chiredzi Residents Association (UCCHRA), who is accused of supporting one of the remaining nominees.
According to sources, the residents’ association and Chiredzi Town Council have a history of conflict, so Hwende’s supporters did not expect a favourable outcome for him as he is the town chairperson. Mirriam Shava of Hippo Valley said:
The Commissioners were compromised. How can our Party seek the services of another party to oversee the process.
Another member of the CCC accused the vetting committee of soliciting bribes from the nominees. They claimed that they had evidence of a recorded call where a member of the vetting team asked for US$5,000 from their candidate and planned to submit the evidence to the president of the party.
There are claims that CCC leader Nelson Chamisa has lost faith and trust in all sitting councillors in Chiredzi and wants them replaced with new members. The reason for this is that Chamisa believes the councillors failed to distance themselves from Douglas Mwonzora, and the fact that Mwonzora did not recall them suggests they were part of his system.