Friday 17 August 2018


MDC-Alliance has been accused of trying to impose its choice for the Gweru mayoral post after inviting only five of the 16 MDC-Alliance councillors interested in the post for interviews in Harare last week.

The five are former mayor Councillor Hamutendi Kombayi, incumbent Clr Charles Chikozho, Clr Albert Chirau, Clr Josiah Makombe and Clr Cleopas Shiri.

Clrs Kombayi, Chikozho, Chirau, Makombe and Shiri are ward treasurer, provincial secretary for legal affairs, provincial secretary for ICT, provincial treasurer and provincial vice chairperson for Midlands South, respectively.

The invitation of the five has since raised the ire of the other 11 interested candidates and residents.

The candidate who will be chosen by the party’s leadership will automatically land the post as the party’s councillors who dominate council are supposed to elect the candidate as mayor during their first meeting.

Clrs Kombayi, Chirau and Chikozho confirmed attending the interviews, which they said were free and fair.

“Yes, that is correct I attended the mayoral interviews that were conducted in Harare last week,” he said.

“They were free and fair and we await results from the party.”

Clr Chikozho said the exercise was not unique to Gweru council alone, but applied to all the urban and rural councils, which are controlled by the MDC-Alliance.

“There were other candidates from other local authorities we control,” he said. “The party asked for councillors interested in the mayoral positions to send their CVs and which we did and from Gweru we were five. From our performance, the party will tell us who will become the mayor and his deputy.”

Clr Chirau said he was hopeful to land the Gweru council top post saying in all fairness, he had done well during the interviews.

“I’m a business person and that comes first then politics,” he said. “Then we have the political dynamics, which can come into play and so we will see how it goes.”

Gweru Residents Association spokesperson Mr Cornelius Selipiwe said inviting a few councillors for interviews was tantamount to imposition of the mayor and his deputy by the party.

“There are about 16 councillors and why these five? I am against the idea of imposing the mayor and his deputy because according to the Urban Councils Act, councillors are supposed to elect a mayor and deputy during their first meeting,” he said.

“They haven’t met as councillors as yet but already the party seems like its imposing candidates, which is bad for local governance.”

Some bitter councillors who were not invited for the interview accused the party of imposing the mayor and his deputy.

“We are querying the criteria they used to invite the participants for interviews. In all fairness why didn’t they invite all of  us?

“This is bad for us because there is going to be friction in council which will affect service delivery,” said one of the snubbed councillors on condition of anonymity. Herald


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