via Zvidzai battles priorities – The Zimbabwean 2 July 2015
Sessil Zvidzai, the Gweru urban MP, has come under fire for abandoning the constituency and relocating to Harare since his appointment as MDC-T secretary for presidential affairs late last year.
Zanu (PF) has lately been making frantic efforts to take control of the city through paralysing the local authority and sabotaging measures by the MDC-T city fathers to improve service delivery.
Three MDC-T councillors, Albert Chirau (Ward 11) Kenneth Sithole (Ward 4) and Moses Marecha (Ward 5), were fired from town house by local government minister Ignatius Chombo under unclear circumstances and Zanu (PF) is already angling towards taking over the seats in by-elections.
VP Emmerson Mnangagwa also forced the council to channel resources meant for service delivery towards payment of salary arrears in a move that is largely seen as political as it aims at raising resentment of ratepayers against the MDC-T councillors ahead of the next elections. Zvidzai did not raise a finger on the developments or try to pin down Chombo and Mnangagwa in Parliament – causing his critics to accuse him of being out of touch on the issues.
Top MDC-T Midlands South executive committee members who spoke to The Zimbabwean but requested anonymity, expressed concern that Zvidzai had also failed to organise party structures as he is yet to hold a single party meeting since his victory celebrations last year.
“We are very concerned that the MP may be weakening the party in Gweru, which makes it difficult for MDC-T to retain it in 2018. He is not meeting the party structures and remember Gweru district did not attend last year’s elective congress because of shambolic structures. The MP has not done anything to resolve that problem this far,” said a top party official in Midlands South.
Gweru Mayor Hamutendi Kombayi, confirmed that Zvidzai had not attempted to help them in their difficulties but was quick to highlight that they looked forward to future engagements with the MP when his schedule allowed him to do so.
Munyaradzi Mutandavri, the MDC-T’s Midlands South executive spokesperson, said the provincial leaders could only reign in the MP if formal complaints were raised by the constituency structures.
“The affected constituency has not approached us for help and so we assume they are happy with the status quo,” he said.
Contacted for comment, Zvidzai said he had been out of the spotlight in the constituency because he is finding it difficult to balance duties of both portfolios.
“I am still battling with trying to find a balance. I agree the posting in the president’s office brings in some challenges on how to deal with local politics,which is at times very polar. I am sure I will find the required balance soon,” he said.