MDC factions battle for Chegutu

CHEGUTU - The Movement for Democratic Change's warring factions will both field candidates for the forthcoming mayoral elections here in March. Early last month, the party fielded candidates in local elections but lost to the ruling Zanu PF after the votes were split. During the concil elections, th

e MDC gave up control of what were previously safe seats in its urban stronghold of Chitungwiza and rural Matobo. Incumbent MDC Chegutu mayor, Francis Dhlakama, whose term of office expired on December 10 last year has indicated that he belongs to a faction led by MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. He described it as the “real MDC”. On the same day, party deputy secretary general Gift Chimanikire said his faction, led by Tsvangirai’s deputy Gibson Sibanda, had lined up three candidates who would battle it out to choose a mayoral candidate. The Chegutu mayoral elections should have been held in December, but Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission failed to facilitate the holding of elections. The development has seen Dhlakama continuing his duties under provisions of the Urban Councils Act that stipulate that he can only relinquish his post upon the election of another office bearer. Dhlakama has complained of an environment of fear and intimidation and says he has struggled to find people brave enough to put their names behind his nomination. He said all Chombo and his ministry spent their energy on was sabotaging efforts to deliver services to the people of Chegutu. – SW Radio Africa

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