THE Nelson Chamisa-led MDC has embarked on a witch-hunt in Chitungwiza to sniff out councillors who voted for an aspiring mayoral candidate from Zanu-PF during Wednesday elections in the dormitory town.
While the MDC retained the post following the resignation of former mayor Gift Tsverere, along with his deputy Jabulani Mtunzi in February, questions were immediately raised after the Zanu-PF candidate garnered more votes than the number of councillors his party has in the municipality.
The Zanu-PF candidate managed to get seven votes notwithstanding the fact that the ruling party only has four councillors in Chitungwiza.
MDC vice president Morgen Komichi told the Daily News on Sunday that the party was hugely concerned by the apparent disloyalty displayed by its councillors, declaring that heads will certainly roll.
“We would ordinarily expect that Zanu-PF gets what it has so it is worrisome that it got more than it actually has, meaning that there are some of our councillors who voted them, hence an investigation into what transpired will be instituted to weed out the culprits who sold out. It is a sad development really,” Komichi said.
The MDC has 19 councillors in Chitungwiza against the ruling party’s four.
In the elections, MDC ward seven councillor Lovemore Maiko emerged winner after securing 16 votes against the seven polled by Zanu-PF’s Kiven Mutimbanyoka.
Maiko will be deputised by Musa Mukweza who also got 16 votes while Zanu-PF’s John Matiyenga polled five votes, with two others being spoiled ballots.
This is not the first time that the MDC has had to launch a witch-hunt after officials voted with the ruling party.
In 2013, the late MDC founding president Morgan Tsvangirai did the same with Mutare councillors who voted for Zanu-PF’s Collen Mukwada for the position of deputy mayor ahead of the party’s preferred candidate Kudakwashe Chisango.
The MDC Manicaland provincial leadership then recommended the expulsion of four party councillors who were alleged to have sold out.
These included the then newly-elected mayor Tatenda Nhamarare and three other councillors Richard Mupfura, Farai Bhiza and Pamela Mutare.
According to the country’s Constitution, political parties have a right to recall both their Members of Parliament and councillors when it feels they are no longer representing the parties’ mandate.
Prior to the mayoral polls after the 2013 general elections all party councillors had been ordered to elect mayors and deputy mayors from among themselves.
In the case of Mutare, the councillors had been directed to elect Nyamupanedengu as mayor with Chisango as his deputy.
However, Nhamarare allegedly defied the party directive and contested for the mayor’s post which he eventually won.