Storm brews in MDC-T

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A storm is brewing in MDC-T as councillors threaten to expose senior party members and MPs who allegedly abused the Constituency Development Fund at the expense of the electorate.

The councillors were unhappy with the party’s national council move to set up teams to probe the local authorities for corruption, arguing their hands were clean.

Over the weekend, the MDC-T national council resolved to set up committees to probe corrupt councillors countrywide.

The councillors claimed MPs who constitute the majority of members in the national council and national executive felt threatened by their visibility at grassroots level hence they were afraid of losing party primaries next year.

“We are more visible on the ground and we have people on the ground. The MPs know they are losing out on grassroots support because they have alienated themselves,” said one Harare councillor who refused to be named.

“In my ward, there are a lot of questions being asked by the residents who want to know whether they still have an MP or not. As it stands, councillors are more powerful than MPs, hence the fear. We will beat them come primary elections and they know that.”

The stand-off follows the MDC-T national council decision to probe councillors who, in their view, have suddenly become wealthy.

Party secretary-general Tendai Biti said those found guilty would be dismissed from the party.

Some of the councillors’ dramatic “rags-to-riches” tales have raised eyebrows prompting the MDC-T to investigate their source of wealth from their $150 allowance.

Biti said: “The party observes with concern the corruption, lack of delivery and chaos resulting from ministerial interference in some of these councils and local authorities.”

The MDC-T has 786 councillors countrywide with a visible presence in virtually all urban areas.