Deputy Mayor circus continues
THE ongoing fight for the Bulawayo Deputy Mayor position appears to be far from over, with one of the aspiring candidates vowing to ignore the party leadership’s decision to endorse last week’s vote which saw Ward Three councillor, Tinashe Kambarami retaining the position unopposed.
Ward One councillor, Mlandu Ncube has been involved in a bitter fight for the position after he had been initially seconded to the position during a caucus vote but was eventually beaten to the position by Clr Kambarami that was held in the council chambers.
MDC Bulawayo province then ordered Clr Kambarami to resign from his position or risk being expelled from the party and council, accusing him of defying party orders to have Clr Ncube elected to the post. Clr Kambarami last Sunday orally announced his resignation in the presence of the party’s president, Mr Nelson Chamisa, only to be re-elected unopposed the following day.
Speaking to our sister paper, Chronicle, on Friday, the party’s deputy president, Mr Morgan Komichi said the party had accepted Clr Kambarami’s election as the city’s Deputy Mayor. However, Clr Ncube has insisted that as far as he was concerned the re-election of Clr Kambarami was a non-event saying the matter would only be concluded when the party and councillors go back to the original caucus decision endorsing him as the city’s Deputy Mayor. He said as long as councillors continue delaying his rise to the Deputy Mayor post they were delaying progress in the city and avoiding the inevitable.
“This issue is not over at all, I was not told of the party position nor was there anything put in writing to that effect. Actually as far as I am concerned president Chamisa’s order for Clr Kambarami to resign was not implemented. I know that we are focusing a lot on this issue but I believe the only way we can progress on this matter is simply going back to the original party decision and councillors caucus that had me as the Deputy Mayor, I will not tire until this is achieved and I become the Deputy Mayor of Bulawayo,” said Clr Ncube.
However, it has since emerged that the party on Friday dispatched the party’s secretary for local government, who is also the MDC Alliance chief of staff, Mr Sesel Zvidzai to come and calm the storm in the city and ensure that the councillors accept last Monday’s vote where Clr Kambarami was elected to the second topmost position in the city, unopposed.
Contacted for comment, yesterday, Mr Zvidzai confirmed the meeting, saying it was a fruitful meeting and councillors were ready to set aside the divisions caused by the Deputy Mayor vote and forge ahead for the betterment of the city.
“On Friday I met with Bulawayo councillors to give them direction on local government business and party policy and I should tell you that I have never met a tranquil and focused group, they sat together and are raring to lift the pride of the city to another level. They are alive to the fact that Bulawayo is an icon when it comes to local government work and would not want to be held accountable for destroying this legacy. Yes, there are a few hitches here and there that have to be scratched but these are just minor,” said Mr Zvidzai.
Questioned on Clr Ncube’s position on the matter and his grievances, Mr Zvidzai said; “I do understand Clr Ncube but he also has to realise the processes that have been done as a party. However, I must assure you that we are all working together noting that what is important is serving the people of Bulawayo. His time will come. Further you will find that the people of Bulawayo care less on who becomes Mayor or Deputy Mayor but it is service delivery which they are pushing for.”
Questioned on Mr Zvidzai’s sentiments, Clr Ncube said he had not attended the said meeting as he was attending a funeral in Ntabazinduna.
MDC Alliance national spokesperson, Mr Jacob Mafume warned Clr Ncube saying he had to bring himself to order as the party had already made its official position clear and it was up to him to accept it or risk being labelled a rebel.