By Nduduzo Tshuma
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai will not reverse the party’s decision to recommend academic Mandla Nyathi as Bulawayo’s new mayor despite reports that some newly elected councillors intend to ignore the directive, his spokesperson said yesterday.
MDC-T last week nominated Nyathi, a lecturer at the National University of Science and Technology for the mayor’s post, while Ward 3 councillor Martin Moyo was selected to be his deputy.
The decision was made at a Bulawayo provincial meeting attended by party leader Morgan Tsvangirai, his deputy Thokozani Khupe, national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa and his deputy Abednicho Bhebhe.
However, elected councillors will have the final say on the candidate when they vote at their first meeting. There are reports that a group of councillors feel that Nyathi and Moyo were imposed on them, hence the alleged plot to sabotage the MDC-T’s plan for Bulawayo.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka yesterday played down fears that councillors might defy the party leader.
“All I can say is that there have been vigorous consultations,” he said.
“Our president is not a dictator, but consulted a number of stakeholders including residents associations.”
He ruled out any chance of a revolt saying the decision to recommend Nyathi was made after “wide consultations”. But MDC-T insiders insisted Nyathi was an unpopular choice and described the selection process as chaotic.
They said Bulawayo lawyer Kucaca Phulu, who was eyeing the mayoral post, had to be called by some party members after he was not informed of Thursday’s provincial meeting where Nyathi was selected.
Tsvangirai has nominated Obert Gutu for Harare Mayor and Thomas Muzuva as his deputy and in Chitungwiza he has nominated Isaac Manyemba for Mayor in what has been viewed by many within and outside the party as imposition of candidates. NewsDay