MDC-T councillors shock Tsvangirai by voting ZANU PF mayors

via MDC-T councillors shock Tsvangirai by voting ZANU PF mayors | SW Radio Africa by Tichaona Sibanda on Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The MDC-T has come out guns blazing against party councillors who defied party orders and voted in ZANU PF candidates as mayors in towns controlled by the MDC-T.

The move reportedly shocked party leader Morgan Tsvangirai who has given instructions to provincial executives to deal with the matter as a matter of urgency.

Heads are expected to roll following one the biggest ever party revolts over the election of mayors. The MDC-T believes its councillors sold out by accepting ‘cheap bribes’.

There are reports the MDC-T wants to ‘fight fire with fire’ and expel all the councillors who went against party rules. In mayoral elections held on Monday, MDC-T controlled towns of Kwekwe, Redcliff and Victoria Falls voted for ZANU PF mayors. In cities like Gweru and Mutare, the councillors defied party orders to elect their own from the party, instead of agreed nominees.

This prompted an outcry from party members across the country who called for a major investigation into what caused the worst betrayal since the formation of the party. Senior MPs in the party, like Sam Sipepa Nkomo, called it ‘an absolute abrogation of their representative duties at one of the most difficult periods in the party’s history’.

‘Friends, something is not right. How can MDC councillors, where they are in majority, vote for a ZANU candidate? Am I missing something here?’ asked Nkomo.

South African based political analyst Luke Zunga said the MDC-T needs to show strong leadership to deal with this issue or its supporters will lose faith in the party.

‘Here in South Africa in a town called Tlokwe about 100km north west of Johannesburg, councillors from the ANC went against party orders and voted for a Mayor from the Democratic Alliance. The ANC fired all its councillors and they are having by-elections tomorrow (Wednesday) to fill in the positions,’ Zunga said.

He added: ‘So there is a precedence, a party can decide to act tough against errant councillors if they so wish.’

A highly placed source told SW Radio Africa that Tsvangirai individually phoned provincial chairs who control the affected towns and cities, instructing them to look at how the crisis started in the first place.

This was confirmed by Julius Magarangoma, the provincial chairman of Manicaland, who said they will be meeting as a provincial executive on Wednesday to deal with the issue.

Magarangoma did not mince his words when he revealed that in the case of Mutare, the culprits are known and claimed they were bribed by ZANU PF to sell out the party.

‘We have an enormous responsibility to explain to our supporters who elected these councillors and what led to them to betray the party the way they did. We are meeting tomorrow to see how we got here, who is responsible, and what we can do to make sure that this never happens again,’ Magarangoma said.

Tsvangirai has proposed that each provincial leadership should approach its structures from wards and districts, in order to get to the bottom of this latest crisis to hit the party, following the disastrous electoral results of July 31st.

While ZANU PF is seeking to gloss over the impact of the betrayal by MDC councillors, the Tsvangirai led party has vowed to act ruthlessly and swiftly to deal with party dissidents.

Settlement Chikwinya, the MDC-T MP in Mbizo, KweKwe, said he was left shocked and speechless following outcome of the mayoral elections in the town.

He stressed that voting against the party line is dishonest and if a councillor disagrees with the party, then the only solution is to resign from the party. Already there are reports the rebels are feeling the heat after being ‘pilloried’ by fellow councillors



  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 9 years ago


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    Lindy Forster 9 years ago

    A diamond here and a diamond there and anything may be accomplished by a handful of fools.

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    Probably it’s a great move from the councillors it’s the only way they can get stuff done and improve service delivery if you put a zpf man in front. It’s all about playing the game smarter. That’s they way democracy works sometimes if someone in zpf can do the job better let him do it.

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    Togarasei Chitungo 9 years ago

    @ Tjingabili you are mistaken my brother, nothing to do with imposition of candidates. The core business of a political party is to capture power as MDC had done to take over council power in these Councils using democratic means. To then surrender that power to ZANU PF is selling out and a betrayal of the MDC supporters who voted and entrusted you with their votes. That is a fundamental difference you need to know. ZANU PF will not surrender control over gvt to MDC. The Councillors have surrendered MDC Council power and control entrusted to them by the electorate to ZANU PF. They have abused the electorate and shown severe disrespect for the voters of the cities and the MDC electorate who woke up early to cast votes for the MDC to control the City Council of these cities and towns. It is inexcusable. Its not about imposition of candidates by Harvest House. Its about MDC retaining control of City Councils as per the mandate of the electorate. That is the basic duty of every leader who respects the electorate. If the electorate wanted ZANU PF to control the Cities and towns, they will have voted for it. It is not upto to Councillors to unilaterally decide for the people. Lets respect and defend the wishes of the electorate who put us into office and not pursue our own narrow and corrupt interests. Heads must roll

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    Joseph 9 years ago

    It’s not a betrayal but a freedom of expression.

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    Dzoromuvhu 9 years ago

    Fire! Fire! Fire! Its time to fire

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    Tongai Chihuri 9 years ago

    the party is bigger than individual plzzzzzzzzzzz FIRE these idiots, imbwa chidzo dzinofarisa dzanonga nyama mubin repanext door. Fire all suspects. its better party isare with few pple will to fight for democracy

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    Ndiko kugutisa manje. Why in the first place did they not contest on Zanu pf ticket. They should be flashed out!!!!!!!

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    Mapingu 9 years ago

    This is the reason why open minded individuals like Bennet are calling for a deep introspect by the party. Such rebellious behavior speaks volumes about how the rank & file (including the rebelling councilors)feel about the top leadership – especial some of its choices & decision-making processes.These are simply warning bells.

    My take is, it is more constructive for MDC to focus on addressing fundamental issues behind such rebellion. However, this does not mean rebels, who rebelled the wrong way should not be fired.

    I distinguish two types of rebels in this saga:
    (1) those who smuggled ZANU PF into power – in my view these have rebelled the wrong way; or worse still it wasn’t rebellion but mere selling out: may be a piece of diamond from Chiadzwa did the trick. I have no good word for these ones.

    2). those who voted their mind not & not what top MDC leadership want but respecting the majority will to be ruled by MDC. In my view these rebelled the right way. They have simply demonstrated their dislike of dictatorship. Dictatorship is bad regardless of who practices it – so they chose to fight it even thin the party. I have every good word for this group.

    Three important things I believe must happen are:
    1) firing of wrong rebels – these are certainly no-longer MDC;
    2) learning from the right rebels why they acted the way the acted;
    3) address fundamental issues not symptoms only.

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    Qiniso 9 years ago

    You got it right Jac. What mdc needs to fire the guys who oversaw the biggest election loss in mdc history and whats better than replacing tsvangison?

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    Nyati 9 years ago

    The good part is that even MDC Tea fires those councilors it wont affect ZANU PF win. Zanu PF mayors atova mu office till 2018. If not very careful MDC Tea might lose the by election. Mark my words

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    munzwa 9 years ago

    these councillors have proved to be the weak links within the (mdc)party. They have been corrupted by the corrupt zanu party..the promise of a few stands and some cash..i believe they call it equalizing. shame on you zanu, who is the more guilty? the one who accepts the bribe or the one who offers the bribe…