Mayor faces disciplinary hearing for congratulating Mugabe

MDC-T Mutare Mayor, Tatenda Nhamarare, faces party disciplinary action for allegedly congratulating Zanu (PF) First Secretary, President Robert Mugabe, for winning the July 31 presidential election with a “resounding victory”.

MDC-T Mutare Mayor, Tatenda Nhamarare.
MDC-T Mutare Mayor, Tatenda Nhamarare.

Mutare City Council ran an advert in The local media on Sunday in which the mayor and the municipality congratulated President Mugabe, out of sync with the MDC-T position that the general elections were rigged.

Part of the Nhamarare congratulatory message reads: “The Mayor, Councillor T Nhamarare, councillors, council officials and the citizens of the city would like to express our warm and heartfelt congratulations to his Excellency, the President of the sovereign Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde R.G Mugabe and indeed the vice President Cde Joice Teurai Ropa Mujuru, for resoundingly winning the harmonised elections of July 31, 2013.

“The people of Mutare take great pride in being associated with such outstanding, God-given and principled leadership with unparalleled contributions to both our struggle for liberation and focus on nation-building, unity, empowerment for social and economic development.”

MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, said congratulating Mugabe for ‘resoundingly winning’ the disputed election is not in keeping with party policy and culprits would be brought to account.

Mwonzora said: “Fortunately, Nhamarare was suspended from MDC-T and will answer adequately at the disciplinary hearing for all accusations levelled against him.”

Nhamarare was elected mayor under controversial circumstances, with his party insisting that he did not have the national leadership’s blessings.

When reached for comment, Nhamarare told The Zimbabwean that he was not giving interviews to the media.

“My brother, I am sorry that these days I am not speaking to the media,” said Nhamarare before cutting the telephone conversation.

A former mayor interviewed by The Zimbabwean described the way the congratulatory message was conveyed as unusual.

He said council chamber secretaries would prepare such messages on behalf of the mayor only for national events such as the Heroes and Defence Forces commemorations, not political outcomes.

He said even for national events, the message would be sent to the mayor for approval.

He added that MDC-T should be on the lookout for Zanu (PF) appointed council management members bent on further dividing the Tsvangirai led party.

Nhamarare was recently suspended from MDC-T pending disciplinary hearing for being voted mayor despite being the party’s preferred candidate.

Meanwhile, former MDC-T Marondera Central Member of parliament, Ian Kay, faces disciplinary action for allegedly calling for leadership change in the Morgan Tsvangirai led Movement for Democracy.

Kay reportedly made the call in an interview with one of the private Zimbabwe daily newspapers.

The newspaper quoted Kay as saying: “This is like a soccer team. If the coach continues losing, there is need for the technical board to sit down and deal with the issue.There is need to plan ahead before the ship sinks and if there is need to change the coach, then let it be.”

In a telephone interview with The Zimbabwean, Kay admitted saying some of the statements but denied ever suggesting that Tsvangirai and his immediate lieutenants should go.

“Yes, I said some of the statements but maybe the examples I gave were quoted out of context,” Kay said.

He said. “I meant that there was need for the party leadership in consultation with grassroots, to conduct an objective postmortem of what transpired at the July 31 election.”

The media statements resulted in some provincial and district MDC-T members calling for Kay’s dismissal from the party.

There was chaos at the MDC-T Mashonaland East Provincial offices last Sunday, when the party district executive convened a meeting to decide on Kay’s fate.

The meeting was disrupted by some party members who said Kay should not be put before a hearing committee, since some district, provincial and national executive members were also guilty of plotting a coup aimed at dethroning Tsvangirai.

The district meeting intended to recommend to the provincial executive for Kay’s suspension from the MDC-T pending appearance before a disciplinary committee.

Some of the district, provincial and national executive members present were accused of meeting at Harare’s Palm Lodge, where they allegedly plotted to dethrone Tsvangirai for failing to remove Mugabe from power through the ballot.

MDC-T has been riddled with witch-hunst and finger pointing following its dismal performance at the July 31 polls, won by President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF).

Mugabe garnered 61.09 percent of the presidential vote while Tsvangirai got 33.94 percent.

Zanu (PF) won 197 seats in the National Assembly, MDC-T grabbed 70, MDC got 2 and one seat went to an independent candidate.

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