Masvingo City Councillors Defy CCC Party Position On Mayoral Election | Report
Masvingo City councillors elected Ward 4 councillor Alec Tabe as the new mayor, in an act that has been referred to by party insiders as defiance of the Nelson Chamisa-led Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party position, reported TellZim News.
Tabe won with 10 votes, ahead of Sharon Marombedze of ZANU PF, who garnered only two votes.
He took over from former Ward 2 councillor Shantiel Chiwara who was among the first batch of CCC MPs and councillors who were recalled by the party’s self-appointed interim secretary general Sengezo Tshabangu.
Speaking to the press after the election, Tabe said there was no party defiance, and the councillors simply exercised their right to elect their preferred candidate. He said:
I am not replacing her but I am simply taking over from where she left. We are from the same party, and we are going to work together.
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We will consult her when there is a need. The councillors elected me out of their own will, and there was no defiance of any party order.
However, TellZim News reported party insiders as saying the result reflected a clash between party heavyweights Sesel Zvidzai, who is in charge of local government, and Amos Chibaya, the organising secretary of the party.
It was alleged that caucuses made before the vote failed to yield a consensus, leaving the local councillors divided on who should replace the shortest-serving mayor. Said a source:
Zvidzai, by virtue of being in charge of elections, gave a directive that Deputy Mayor Daniel Mberikunashe be mayor and would be deputised by Richard Musekiwa.
However, other councillors said they could not follow a directive that came through interested parties, saying it was supposed to have come through someone else.
It was further claimed that they called Chibaya, who said they were supposed to go by what the councillors wanted.
However, after failing to reach a consensus, local leaders Mandi Matutu and Jeffreyson Chitando proposed an internal election process to choose a mayor between them, resulting in Tabe’s election.
The councillors reportedly tried to delay the election, but the City Council’s chamber secretary said they couldn’t wait.
Chiwara’s lawyer also reportedly attempted to stop the election, saying her matter was still in court, but was again turned down by the chamber secretary, who said he could only be stopped by a court order.
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