Zanu councillors hold on to power

MARONDERA - Losing Zanu (PF) councilors here are holding on to power despite having been rejected by residents in the March 2008 elections.

The hard line Zanu (PF) councilors who failed to secure a seat in the urban council, have failed to accept that their party no longer commands support in the Mashonaland East Provincial Capital. Some of the losing councilors even refused to surrender councilors commissioner of oath date stamps to winning MDC officials.

The councilors are using the date stamps to masquerade as incumbent councilors. They are date stamping fake letters to acquire agriculture in puts at the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), traveling documents for party supporters at the Registrar Generals office, certifying affidavits and various documents as true copies of original.

Last week, the councilors misrepresented themselves at the GMB as incumbent ward councilors and collected seven tones of fertilizer on behalf of residents. The fertilizer was later used as a political tool, as only Zanu (PF) supporters benefited from the fraud. The fertilizer bought for US$7 per 50kg pocket at the GMB, was sold at US$7.50 to party supporters. Typical of Zanu PF, top party officials grabbed a lions share resulting in the grassroots failing to access the fertilizer despite having paid cash in advance.

When MDC councilors went to enquire about allocation of fertilizer at the GMB, they were told by the General Manager that ward councilors had collected their share.

A losing councilor, Onias Sibilika, on February 1, 2010, wrote a letter recommending assistance for a destitute party supporter, Dorothy Chakanetsa, at the ministry of social welfare. He authenticated the letter with a councilors date stamp.

Sibilika lost heavily in ward 9 polls to Mayor Farai Nyandoro, and has no authority to continue using the date stamp. MDC councilors reported the unscrupulous behavior to the police. Police described Sibilikas alleged behavior as criminal and a docket was subsequently opened against him.

An official with the council said the Sibilika case comes as a surprise, as the Chamber Secretary, Ruramayi Nyamuzihwa, once told the council that he had collected all date stamps from losing councilors.

Governor Aenius Chigwedere, provincial administrator Cuthbert Ndarukwa and district administrator James Chiwaru, are reported to still hold meetings with losing Zanu PF councilors.

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