Chitungwiza mayoral elections on today… MDC-A councillors cry foul

The much awaited Chitungwiza mayoral elections will be held this Wednesday morning after several postponements, the Zim Morning Post has learnt.

Alas, the elections are being held with the majority of the MDC-Alliance councillors bitter and having reservations over what they claim as breach of party procedure in the choosing of mayoral candidates.

Voices and echoes of discontent from MDC-A councillors are too loud reinforcing the discord and disunity within the party’s Chitungwiza provincial structures.

 Sources within the MDC –Alliance told this publication   that the party’s provincial structures had violated due procedure which states that mayoral candidates must go for interviews first before being fielded as contestants.

Acting mayor Lovemore Maiko was selected as the candidate.

“I do not know why the outgoing Provincial members wants to play silly games with us, according to the party rules and regulations everyone who wants to run as Mayor or Deputy has to go through interviews but unfortunately on this issue Chitungwiza did not follow that procedure and we have been given councilor Maiko (Lovemore) as our candidate for the election tomorrow (Wednesday),” complained one councillor.

The dormitory town has been operating without a substantive mayor since September 2018 following a High Court challenge by Kevin Mutimbanyoka who contested the process of the election which was won by Gift Tsverere and Jabulani Mtunzi as deputy mayor.

Mutimbanyoka, a Zanu PF councillor for ward 13 approached the High Court seeking nullification of the mayoral election results of September 4 2018, describing the polling process as irregular and illegal.

High Court judge Justice Edith Mushore granted an interim order.

According to his notice of opposition filed through his lawyers, Messrs Mavhunga and Associates Legal Practice on October 18, Tsverere said although he and Mtunzi had decided “to eat a humble pie and consent to Mutimbanyoka’s sought relief”, they wanted the latter to know that he “must be day-dreaming if he harbours any minute chance of reversing the result in his favour.”

In the election, Tsverere received 19 votes against two received by Mutimbanyoka as three other councillors walked out before the elections were conducted.

The MDC-A Chitungwiza province is not new to controversy as the province was also implicated in running dubious primary elections ahead of the 2018 Harmonised elections which resulted in double candidature.

 “In 2018 they caused controversy by failing to run free and fair primary elections which resulted in the fielding of two candidates,” said the source.

Efforts to draw a comment from Maiko hit a snag on Tuesday night as his mobile phone  was not reachable as Zim Morning Post sought to give him his priviledge  to submit his side of the story on the procedure and criterion which the MDC –A used to select him.