MDC-T Manicaland infighting exposed again
By Staff Reporter
MUTARE – The divisions rocking the MDC-T Manicaland province were exposed again on Monday after several party officials attended the victory celebrations of Mutare Mayor Tatenda Nhambarare even though he was sacked from the party for allegedly working with Zanu PF.
Among those who reportedly attended are senior MDC-T officials like provincial executive secretary Misheck Kagurabadza, former MP Giles Mutsekwa, Patrick Chitaka, Lynette Karenyi and David Chimhini. This is despite the MDC National Council having sacked Nhambarare.
Ms Karenyi confirmed attending the party, but said she did so in her personal capacity. “I attended the party because I am related to Nhambarare,” she said. Kagurabadza also confirmed attending saying “It was a civic gathering. I attended the party in my own personal capacity.”
Mutsekwa a former cabinet minister in the coalition government also refused to comment on his attendance saying, “I am not talking about that, we are talking about what happened on Monday. I will not comment on that. Why don’t you talk to Nhambarare on the matter,” he said.
The newly elected MDC-T mayor of Mutare, Tatenda Nhambarare has been fired from the party together with three other party councillors, for ‘conniving’ with ZANU PF in the mayoral elections.
Nhambarare, who was not the MDC-T nominee for the mayor’s post, defied party instructions and worked out a deal with ZANU PF councillors to vote for him as the new mayor. In return, he and the three other MDC-T councillors Farai Bhiza, Richard Mvura and Pamela Mutare voted for a ZANU PF deputy mayor.
The MDC-T won 13 council seats in Mutare during the July elections while ZANU PF won six. With the majority of councillors, the MDC-T could have easily have swept both the mayoral and deputy posts.
MDC-T provincial spokesman Pishai Muchauraya said the party had nominated Thomas Nyamupanedengu and never considered Nhambarare because he does not qualify because of his young age. The new constitution stipulates that a mayoral candidate has to be 40 years and above.
“Nhembarare is 31 years old and so he wouldn’t have qualified and we knew it. But to our surprise he and the other councillors accepted bribes of $2,000 each to manipulate the outcome of the election,” Muchauraya explained.