Wednesday, October 09, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) MDC-T stunned as councillors vote for Zanu PF mayors
16/09/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE MDC-T's troubles looked to deepen Monday as it lost mayoral elections in Kwekwe, Redcliff and Victoria Falls after its councillors defied the party whip and voted for Zanu PF candidates.

The party hierachy downplayed the significance of the development, rejecting claims the apparent revolt was sparked by a widely-criticised attempt to impose unelected officials as mayors.

“We have not yet received a full report of what transpired. It will be surprising if MDC-T councillors would vote for Zanu PF mayors. It is strange,” said national spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora.

“We are waiting for a full report from our people on the ground. We will look into how voting went. Any political party worth its salt would look into that.

“If people were not happy with external mayors (unelected mayors the MDC-T had initially imposed), they were given an opportunity to vote for an internal mayor.
“Those who voted for Zanu PF are people who do not want democracy as they were given an opportunity to elect among themselves.”

In the Midlands city of Kwekwe, where the 14-wards are evenly split between the two rival parties, Zanu PF’s Matenda Madzoke won with nine votes meaning two MDC-T councillors did not back the party’s own candidate.

And in nearby, Redcliff, Zanu PF only holds two of the nine wards but the party’s pick for mayor, Freddy Kapuya, won the election with five votes, meaning three MDC-T councillors defied the party whip.

After the vote, a pleasantly surprised Kapuya commented: “It's a miracle. I attribute it to the councillors who did not use party politics and elected me to be their leader.

“They looked for someone who can take Redcliff to the next stage. The councillors must be saluted for realising the potential in me.”

In the resort town of Victoria Falls, Zanu PF only holds three of the ten wards but the party’s candidate for mayor won the elections with six votes, meaning three MDC-T councillors defied their party.

Commenting on the upsets, Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said: “We welcome this significant development. It augurs well for the party and shows that even our rivals are now realising that it is only Zanu PF that can deliver.

“It shows people are now supporting Zanu PF. We need to continue working with the people and working on programmes that attract opposition members. We should be able to control Harare and Bulawayo soon.”

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