Wednesday 27 September 2023


The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) councillors in Nkayi have accused the District Development Coordinator (DDC) and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in the Rural District Council (RDC) of rigging the election of the council chairperson in favour of a Zanu PF candidate.

The accusations follow the election of Zanu PF councillors, Elvis Nkomo and Bongani Dube as chairperson and deputy chairperson, respectively, on Tuesday.

CCC councilors alleged that before the election the DDC, Matilda Mlotshwa and CEO Silibele Mpofu held a ‘secret meeting’ to make sure that a Zanu PF councilor was appointed chairperson.

Zanu PF has 19 councillors in the RDC while CCC has 17 and MDC-T has two.

In an interview with CITE following the election on Tuesday, CCC councillor Modias Fuzane, who was nominated as chairperson, alleged he was cheated.

“The DDC was chairing the election but connived with the CEO and other staff members. The election was by secret ballot and after voting, the DDC announced the winner and put the ballot papers aside. I wanted to verify the ballots, but I erred in making my intentions known because we were dismissed during the verification exercise to go to our committees,” Fuzane claimed.

Fuzane alleged the CEO also went and stood in front of them, forming a barrier to prevent them from witnessing what the DDC was doing with other staffers.

“I suspected something was amiss and I stood up to see the DDC quickly exchanging papers with a council staffer. That is how I was cheated,” claimed the councillor.

Fuzane indicated he was confident he would win more than 20 votes, however once the results were released, he received 18 votes while Nkomo had 20.

“The possible result was a tie, which is 19. I was sitting next to a councillor from Zanu PF who voted for me and I saw that,” he claimed.

CCC councilors alleged that before the election the DDC and the CEO held a ‘secret meeting’ to make sure that a Zanu PF councilor was appointed chairperson.

“The DDC and CEO are staunch Zanu PF supporters. They also told us that interested candidates for chairperson must submit CVs. The two even called their Zanu councillors and had a secret meeting from 9 pm to 11pm,” alleged some of the CCC councillors who had an induction event at Nyathi training Centre on Monday.

“Although Zanu PF has 19 councillors, CCC entered into an agreement with MDC-T, which has two councillors to combine votes, therefore we also had 19 councillors. Zanu has 11 councilors who were elected first past the post in Nkayi North, three in Nkayi South, CCC has 11 in Nkayi South and two in Nkayi North, and MDC-T has one. The remainder fell under proportional representation.”

CCC councillors also stated that because Nkayi was divided into North and South, the chairperson was expected to be from the South this time.

“The council chairperson was elected from Nkayi North in 2018, and there was an inside verbal agreement to have a chairperson from Nkayi South after the 2023 elections. However, Zanu PF councilors from Nkayi North rejected this, arguing the council chair cannot come from Nkayi South because Zanu PF only has three councillors there,” said the councillors.

“The Zanu PF councillors were afraid that since CCC has more councillors in Nkayi South they will lose the chairmanship position. This is why the DDC and CEO were acting funny, receiving instructions from elsewhere to manage those squabbles.”

When contacted for a comment, Nkayi DDC Matilda Mlotshwa curtly said the elections “went well” and hastened that she “does not talk to journalists about such because the spokesperson of council is the CEO.”

Nkayi CEO, Silibele Mpofu also concurred the elections went well and that vote was by secret ballot.

He however dismissed the allegations raised by CCC councillors saying he was not privy to that.

“Parties are tricky, whenever there is an election people will always caucus as political parties. That is an obvious thing to come up with how best to elect their candidates,” Mpofu said.

Mpofu also said he could not respond about the arrangement because he had not joined council in 2018.

“I only came in last year, I also heard there was something like that but as CEO my role is to swear in councilors. The election to choose the council chair is presided over by the DDC and I work with what I have been given by the voters,” said the CEO.

“Political parties have their own arrangements on how to handle issues, I’m not privy to that and I don’t want to know what they are planning on because I work with what I have been given.”

In 2021 Nkayi residents called for the abolition of the DDC’s office formerly known as District Administrator (DA) amid concerns that persons occupying the office were used by the ruling Zanu PF party to stifle development and that the post was inherited from the colonial system to suppress people’s freedoms. CITE




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