Factionalism rears head at Mutare mayoral elections

There was chaos at the Mutare City Council chambers late yesterday when MDC-T supporters threatened to beat up some of their councillors, accusing them of voting for a Zanu (PF) councillor as Deputy Mayor.

Tatenda Nhamarare (35) of MDC-T won the mayor’s post ahead of Thomas Nyamupanedengu (45) who reportedly fronted a rival camp in the party.

Nhamarare garnered 10 votes while Nyamupanedengu had nine. The MDC-T has 13 councilors against Zanu (PF)’s six.

Zanu (PF’s) Collin Mkwada won the deputy mayoral post after he got 10 votes against MDC-T’s Kudakwashe Chisango who managed nine.

A source said the reported Nhamarare camp that has four councillors joined with Zanu (PF’s) six councilors to make their number to 10 while the Nyamupanedengu camp had nine councillors.

“The deal was that Zanu (PF) councilors and the MDC-T councilors aligned to Nhamarare agreed that they would vote for Nhamarare as Mayor and then Mkwada (Zanu PF) as Deputy Mayor. That is how it was planned,” said the source.

After the announcements, the MDC-T supporters aligned to Nyamupanedengu camp protested the results, threatening to beat up their colleagues, while the Zanu (PF) supporters sang revolutionary songs and chanted party slogans.

Police had to escort Nhamarare after the supporters aligned to Nyamupanedengu threatened to beat him up, accusing him and other three councilors of selling their votes to Zanu (PF).

Disagreements within MDC-T have seen two factions emerging. Nine councilors where Nyamupanedengu belongs are reported to be in Tendai Biti’s faction that is being led by Julias Magarangoma, the party’s Provincial Chairman.

Biti is the MDC’s national Secretary General. The other four are reportedly aligned to Morgan Tsvangira’s faction that is being spearheaded by Giles Mutsekwa.

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