Tsvangirai fires MDC-T's newly elected Mayor

The newly elected MDC-T mayor of Mutare, Tatenda Nhambarare has been fired from the party together with three other party councilors, for 'conniving' with Zanu-PF in the mayoral elections.

Nhambarare, who was not the MDC-T nominee for the mayor's post, defied party instructions and worked out a deal with Zanu-PF councilors to vote for him as the new mayor. In return, he and the three other MDC-T councilors voted for a Zanu-PF deputy mayor.

The other councilors are Farai Bhiza, Richard Mvura and Pamela Mutare.

The MDC-T won 13 council seats in Mutare during the July elections while Zanu-PF won six. With the majority of councilors, the MDC-T could have easily have swept both the mayoral and deputy posts.

Party spokesman in Manicaland, Pishai Muchauraya told SW Radio Africa that following three meetings involving the provincial leadership, the councilors and local structures in Mutare it was decided to dismiss the rebellious councilors.

Muchauraya said the party had nominated Thomas Nyamupanedengu and never considered Nhambarare because he does not qualify because of his young age. The new constitution stipulates that a mayoral candidate has to be 40 years and above.

"Nhembarare is 31 years old and so he wouldn't have qualified and we knew it. But to our surprise he and the other councilors accepted bribes of $2,000 each to manipulate the outcome of the election," Muchauraya said.

He added: "As a party we have recalled them from council chambers and we have fired them. We are in the process of notifying the town clerk and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission about the action we have taken."

The instant dismissal of the four councilors, who had to be escorted by the police on Wednesday from the MDC-T provincial office in Mutare following threats from residents, will force by elections in the eastern border city.

"We no longer want them in the MDC-T. The days of inclusivity with Zanu-PF are long gone and if they want to stand on a Zanu-PF ticket in the by elections, that is their choice. But we will be fielding new candidates no doubt about that," he said.

Some elected MDC-T councilors in Victoria Falls, KweKwe, Gweru and Mutare went against party decisions and voted contrary to what the party wanted.

The MDC-T has moved fast to act decisively against the councilors and it appears the party has resolved to fire all of them. In Redcliff the party has already recalled its rebellious councilors from office and moved to expel them, according to the newly elected MDC-T legislator for Redcliff, Happymore Chidziva. – First published on bulawayo24.com

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