Wednesday, October 09, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) MDC-T caves in as Harare gets mayor
16/09/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE MDC-T performed a major climbdown on Monday after bowing down to a directive by Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo that mayors must be elected from among the councillors.

In Harare, councillor Bernard Manyenyeni was elected mayor after Chombo’s directive closed the door on Obert Gutu, the hand-picked party choice.

Manyenyeni beat Zanu PF’s Beadle Gwasira by 38 to seven votes, while Thomas Muzuva triumphed by a similar margin to become his deputy.

In Bulawayo, the MDC-T had head-hunted university lecturer Clever Nyathi for mayor, but following Monday’s elections, councillors Martin Moyo and Gift Banda became mayor and deputy mayor respectively.

The MDC-T’s reluctance to draw mayors from among the elected councillors had drawn taunts from Zanu PF which said the party was admitting that it had put forward low calibre council candidates.
It had challenged Chombo’s directive in court, but after Monday’s voting, the party was forced to accept the winners.

Elections "went on smoothly and demonstrated a lot of political maturity within the MDC,” said the party in a statement.

“The party therefore strongly supports those that have been elected into office. The choice of candidates has clearly shown that MDC is never short of talent.

“The MDC therefore takes this opportunity to congratulate all those that have been elected Mayors on MDC tickets and we urge the people in respective cities to fully support these candidates in their discharge of duties.”

On the eve of Monday's mayoral polls, the MDC-T was still insisting on fielding non-elected councillors to the top council posts.

Meanwhile, in Chegutu, councillor Leo Gwanzura was elected mayor and Edias Ticharwa the deputy mayor.

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