Saturday 25 August 2018


FORMER Bulawayo councillors and Aldermen have slammed the MDC Alliance over its attempts to impose a mayor and deputy mayor through conducting interviews.

The Mr Nelson Chamisa-led MDC-T recently held interviews with candidates aspiring to be mayor and deputy mayor in Harare yet councillors should elect the two in the council chambers when council resumes sitting.
Bulawayo will have a new mayor and deputy mayor following last month’s harmonised elections. Councillors Samuel Mnguni, Silas Chigora, Ernest Rafomoyo, Clayton Zana and Norman Hlabani are reportedly gunning to be the city’s mayor while Mlandu Ncube, Rodney Jele, Tinashe Kambarami, Felix Mhaka and Lilian Mlilo are jostling for the deputy mayor post.

In an interview, Bulawayo Aldermen said the MDC-T was offside in conducting interviews for the city’s top posts.

Their sentiments come following claims Mr Chamisa wants to impose his cronies for the city’s top jobs.

“What we know as Aldermen of the city is that if the council is selecting a non executive mayor, councillors will elect their preferred mayor without the interference of a political party. You sit as the 29 councillors and choose the mayor and deputy mayor. What we are hearing that aspiring mayoral candidates were called to Harare for interviews is new to us and it diverts from the Bulawayo culture,” said Ald Israel Mabaleka who served as a councillor between 2003 and 2013.

He said the attempt to impose a mayor and a deputy mayor could destroy Bulawayo’s culture of integrity and servant leadership as imposed individuals would not have residents’ interests at heart.
Ald Bathandi Michael Mpofu said it would be a sad development for the city to be led by an imposed mayor.

He outlined how councillors used to caucus among themselves before electing the mayor and his deputy without interference from their political parties.

“It’s shocking and painful that a Bulawayo mayor will be interviewed in Harare when councillors are elected by the people. Why do they have to go for interviews in Harare?” said Ald Mpofu who was a councillor from 1991 to 2000.

“It creates suspicion hence there is a rumour that he (Chamisa) wants to impose a mayor who is not originally from Bulawayo. The mayor as a leader in Bulawayo should be a local person who understands where the city is coming from and where it is heading.”

He said the MDC-T should be careful in their activities as selecting an incompetent mayor could stifle Bulawayo’s development.

Ald Ngwalo Nyathi who served as councillor from 2003 to 2013 said an imposed mayor would serve his masters instead of residents who elect him.

“The selection of a mayor and his deputy is not something to be done by a party or in the offices of a party but by other councillors. Things are now being done improperly. They now want to bring their cronies to become leaders in Bulawayo while residents have their own expectations. Once you are elected a councillor you no longer serve along party lines but all the residents,” said Ald Nyathi.

His views were shared by Ald Elmon Mpofu who concurred with other former councillors in calling for the MDC to return to basics where a mayor and deputy are voted for by their colleagues in council.

“It’s clear rot what is happening here. It lacks maturity and could distort Bulawayo’s culture,” said Ald Mpofu who served in council from 2003 to 2013. Chronicle


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