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Chamisa explains decision to axe mayors

By Tendayi Madhomu

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has said his party will not hesitate to weed out mayors who build “nicodemus” and corrupt relations with Zanu PF bigwigs for personal gain.

MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa (centre) and Tendai Biti (Alliance principal) (centre) and Amos Chibaya (Organising Secretary) - right.
MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa (centre) and Tendai Biti (Alliance principal) (centre) and Amos Chibaya (Organising Secretary) – right.

Chamisa was reacting to allegations that he has unlawfully axed mayors in Victoria Falls, Chitungwiza and Masvingo.

The opposition leader said mayors are not elected by residents and his party has powers to recall individuals who do not perform in line with party protocol.

Chamisa said it has become a cause concern that there are some Zanu PF officials who go behind the MDC’s back and forge “dodgy and corrupt deals” with elected mayors in the local authorities.

“Zanu PF has made way to convince certain of our members to advance corruption and we say no to that. We want are an accountable party and we want to be accountable to our people,” he said.

“I am not going to mention names but you know in Masvingo there is a Zanu PF bigwig that interfered. They seek to benefit through shady deals and corruption and you expect us to fold our hands and watch as that happens. We will never allow these behind-the-scenes, power sharing deals which are done nicodemously,” he said.

“No mayor was elected by the residents. We do not have executive mayors. Residents elect councillors who then sit and elect the chairperson who in turn becomes the mayor.”

Media reports indicated that residents in Victoria Falls were against the MDC leadership’s decision to replace the resort town’s mayor Somvelo Dhlamini with the party’s preferred candidate, Margaret Varley.

The resolution was reportedly made by about 300 residents who gathered at Chinotimba Hall on Friday evening to discuss challenges of water and importation of labour.

According to the reports, residents had no kind words for the opposition leadership as they accused Chamisa of imposing an “arrogant” person, who did not even speak their language.

Last month, Chamisa ordered Masvingo mayor Advocate Collins Maboke to step down, accusing him of supping with Zanu PF and disregarding a party directive to choose councillor Godfrey Mberikunashe as mayor.

Residents of Masvingo town reportedly threatened to stage protests against Chamisa’s decision to recall the mayor.

The MDC leader summoned Maboke and chided him for disregarding a party directive on the choice of Masvingo mayor before ordering him to step down in place of councillor Godfrey Mberikunashe.

Chitungwiza mayor Gift Tsverere and his deputy Jabulani Mtunzi have also consented to their recall by the MDC leadership, to open for new elections. DailyNews

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