Zanu vote-buying a flop

Some MDC-T councillors here received bribes from an aspiring Zanu (PF) mayor but then chose to vote for their own party member, according to sources in the town.

Zanu (PF) losing mayoral candidate for Chitungwiza, Frederick Mabamba, allegedly paid an unknown amount of money and pledged to donate vehicles and residential stands to MDC-T councillors in a bid to solicit for their support. He has denied the charges.

“We are Zanu (PF) and there is no way we would want to work with the MDC. This is all based on hearsay,” said Mabamba.

Philip Mutoti won the position after he garnered 14 votes against Mabamba’s 10. Zanu (PF) has 10 councillors in the Chitungwiza Municipality while the MDC-T has 15 meaning that Mabamba needed extra votes to make it to the top.

However, when votes for the mayoral elections were counted, there was one spoilt paper. Sources said the spoilt ballot was from a Zanu (PF) councillor. Only one MDC-T councillor is suspected to have voted for Mabamba, claims which are difficult to verify as the vote was done secretly.

The same sources told The Zimbabwean that on the eve of the election, Mabamba “donated” $500 to a group of MDC-T councilors, and pledged a further undisclosed amount after the election.

“There was a lot of bribing that took place prior to the election. MDC-T councillors received varying amounts of cash and promises of cars and residential stands,” said a source.

Mabamba, a businessman, owns residential, industrial and college stands in Chitungwiza that he was allocated in unclear circumstances. He owns a number of private colleges in the town.

“The issue was discussed at several caucus meetings and councillors would constantly remind each other of the need to guard against infiltration,” said an MDC-T source.

MDC-T councillors in areas such as Mutare, Redcliff, Kwekwe and Victoria Falls voted for Zanu (PF) candidates during the mayoral election. Already, the term of office of four Mutare councillors is in doubt after the MDC-T decided to recall them, clearing the way for fresh elections in their respective wards. Similar action is expected in other towns and cities.

“Their actions were unacceptable and unpardonable,” said Douglas Mwonzora, the party spokesman.

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