MDC-T defiant on mayors
MDC-T yesterday remained defiant that it will field unelected councillors for the positions of mayors despite a directive by Local Government, Public Works and National Housing minister Ignatius Chombo to the contrary.
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The elections for mayors throughout the country are set for 10am today.
Party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said his party would field the unelected councillors as it was provided for in the Constitution.
“We are definitely going to field our mayors; we will field people we think will qualify for being mayor. Our position is that the law allows us to field a person who is not an elected official and we insist on the legal position and we see what happens,” Mwonzora said.
MDC-T wants to field former Justice deputy minister Obert Gutu for Harare and Isaac Manyemba for Chitungwiza.
National University of Science and Technology lecturer Mandla Nyathi has been earmarked for the Bulawayo mayoral post.
In light of threats by Chombo to block the party’s preferred candidates, MDC-T has also shortlisted Ward 8 councillor Chris Mbanga and his Ward 17 counterpart Bernard Manyenyeni for the position of Harare mayor.
Contacted for comment Harare provincial administrator Alfred Tome who is set to preside over the elections said: “I will conduct the elections for the mayor on Monday at 10 in the morning at Town House. That’s the position and we can’t compromise on that because that is the law. Those who are saying it’s not the law must revisit the Constitution.
“The mayor must come from those elected councillors and those who are not must not be considered. No one shall impose.”
In Mutare, councillor Thomas Nyamupanedengu is tipped to be mayor of the eastern border city.
MDC-T Manicaland party spokesperson Pishai Muchauraya said the councillors were invited to a caucus in Harare where Nyamupanedengu was chosen as the mayor designate deputised by Kudakwashe Chisango.
He said in terms of the new constitution, their former preferred candidate who was also Mutare Mayor in the last term, Brian James, is deemed not eligible to stand hence the resolution to replace him with Nyamupanedengu.
Brian James was fired by Chombo during his tenure, but he was cleared by the courts to stand in the elections as a councillor. He was, however, defeated by a Zanu PF candidate.
Chombo last month said the selection of non-elected councillors for mayoral positions was illegal and vowed to block the moves by MDC-T.
MDC-T was pinning its restructuring and re-organising hopes on the control of provincial structures.
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