MDC-T in U-turn over mayors


MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has given in to a directive by Local Government Rural and Urban Development minister Ignatius Chombo to have mayors selected from elected councillors.

Report by Moses Matenga/Everson Mushava

Tsvangirai had until yesterday endorsed Obert Gutu for Harare’s mayoral post and Isaac Manyemba for Chitungwiza.

But yesterday, Tsvangirai summoned his party councillors from Harare and Chitungwiza for a meeting following which he reversed his earlier decision.

This comes as the Electoral Court yesterday threw out the application by the MDC-T over the issue.

The matter, which was set before Justice Andrew Makoni, was thrown out on the basis that the party had approached the wrong court.

“The Electoral Court said it has no jurisdiction to hear the case,” MDC-T lawyer, Tendai Amon Toto said.

After the meeting with councillors, Tsvangirai reportedly made an announcement at his party headquarters, Harvest House, that the party had finally settled for Ward 8 councillor Chris Mbanga and his Ward 17 counterpart Bernard Manyenyeni as the two that would compete for the mayorship of Harare. It could, however, not immediately be established who had been nominated for Chitungwiza.

Newly-appointed chief-whip for Harare Councillor Peter Moyo confirmed the development, saying the decision was reached as the party was awaiting the court ruling on the matter.

“It’s a suggestion that was brought up and we all agreed to it,” said Moyo.

Impeccable sources who attended the meeting addressed by Tsvangirai said the outgoing Premier brought up the idea and no one disputed it.

The party organising secretary Nelson Chamisa and secretary for local government Blessing Chebundo also attended the meeting.

“The president called for the caucus and said we should have an alternative plan,” said the source.

Party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora confirmed the “plan B” adding that the party arrived at the decision after putting into consideration the “uncertainty of the court’s view on the matter”.

“I can confirm that in view of the uncertainty of how courts may look at this matter, we have decided to look at plan B should our persistence with the courts fail. I am not yet at liberty to disclose who may be the chosen one,” said Mwonzora.

In dismissing the application, Justice Makoni said the MDC-T had approached the wrong court. However, Mwonzora said they had gone to the Electoral Court because they felt the mayoral elections were a continuation of the July 31 polls.

“The matter is no longer in the hands of the Electoral Court. We have an option to approach the High Court to hear the same urgent application and make a determination to grant and reject the relief sought,” Toto said.

He said MDC-T could also approach the Constitutional Court for interpretation of the contentious sections 265(2) and 274(2) as read with section 275 of the constitution in relation to the provisions of the Urban Councils Act and the Local Government Laws Amendment Act.

On the issue of three council run-off elections due for Sunday, MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti yesterday expressed doubts over their credibility.

The reason he said was that the Registrar-General’s (RG) Office had failed to provide soft copies of the voters roll to the contesting parties.

“We have requested, from the RG’s office, soft copies of the voters’ roll for these wards, but the authorities are adamant they will not avail the voters’ roll to us. The freeness, fairness and credibility of these elections are already in doubt. The same irregularities that plagued the July 31 election are still with us today,” Biti told a press conference in Harare yesterday.


  1. Oh my God, when will these people get rid of this flipflopper!!

    His very presence as opposition leader has enabled and even helped extend Gukurahundi Mugabe’s stranglehold on power in a spectacular fashion. No wonder SADC has given up.

    As I said some time, this is a clarion call on all MDC green members to redouble our efforts at building our party and selling it to every nook and cranny of Zimbabwe’s geography. Otherwise, with the Tswangirayis of this world, we are done for – Zim is totally fukced!!!

  2. senior party officials like Obert Gutu and Douglas Mwonzora etc. should not take up mayoral posts because they will end up humilated by Chombo dismissing them.

  3. ko tobaiwa mudede anombove chii ? is he a robort ? dzangaradzimu ? chipoko ?please help me i cant understand him .always cretising one side, even dhunyas mumwemusi munoriona richinhonga mapepa murhodhi ronounganidza ,musiiwoyo ragonawo wani ,may tobaiwa remove his face on tv vanhu havangazotengi ma tv kana kuona zbctv

  4. I once said it on this forum that i pity Obert Gutu kukwidzwa ndege yemashanga naMogan. When Chombo gave them advise gullible ppl were quick to blame him not knowing that he wasnt the law wch the entire Mdc troop of loyas cld nt read. Icho!

  5. This is one of Morgan’s biggest undoing,ignorance and indecision,for a party full of practising lawyers,this is a shame.Why did they not read the new law?Now they will look like fools and yet they cry that elections are rigged,with an inept opposition like this,Zanu PF can surely go to sleep.The same fear within Zanu PF to ask Mugabe to step down is the same fear within the MDC T to ask Tsvangirai to step down.Surely this is shameful.If its because of his surname which completes the party name we can just put the surname of whoever comes.

  6. the people of Zimbabwe had shown the right person(leader) they want
    they have shown their ability to take part in world systems of democracy.i congratulate the president and the zanu-pf for shocking victory
    soon the celebration will reach a climax and the party’s people should knuckle down to a serious task;to indiginise,empower and create employment to this great nation

    O wen Chamukuza
    Nhedziwa High School
    chimanimani west const

  7. MDC =Movement for Damn Confusion

    I almost feel sorry for the guy. Apa arambwa nemukadzi. It never rains, it pours.

  8. There is nothing wrong with Tsvangirayi coming up with a plan B given that Chombo is afraid of competent people being appointed to these positions and is deliberately misinterpreting the law to end up with relatively weak mayors whom he can manipulate.The courts will obviously side with Chombo in this matter.Its a pity Gukurahundi upbringing sees an opportunity to take a cheap shot at Tsvangirayi but many more people voted for him in your perceived stronghold than your green party candidate. This is bcoz Zimbabweans in general are more intelligent than you realize and will not waste their votes on an obviously lost cause.

  9. I have said it before and i will continue saying that as long as Tsvangirai is MDC-T leader it will remain an opposition for ever. Thats why Mugabe was happy to have Tsvangirai attending those morning tea meetings. Mugabe has said it many times that the guy is ignorant, clueless. Why run to the courts before understaing the contitution.How many U-turns has he taken just to mention after elections…


    • you are right. even if the elections were to be held in UK or USA as long as it is pitting Tsvangirai vs Someone, Tsvangirai will lose! This guy is so ignorant.

  10. Its a blessing that the People of Zim didnt vote for an ignorant leader. Hayi Morgan no,no,no. U are bringing Shame to MDC. Why open your ugly mouth without facts. Nw you are a laughing stock to Chombo. Bhora Megedhe.

  11. @magame are you putting across to the readership that all the mdc elected councillors are for harare and chitungwiza are not competant enough to be in leadership positions, if so who is to blame? why where they nominated to represent the party, isn’t it that councillors are the city fathers, are they not suppose to come up with policies and by laws which are suppose to lure investers and propell the growth of the city, why didn’t obert gutu and company contested as councillors

  12. ZAnupf will always interpret the law as they see fit, they will never give the MDC a chance, there are 2 laws for everything in Zim.

  13. kana neniwo nurse zvake ndaverenga constitution itsva section 274 (2) (5), zviri pachena kuti mayor anofanirwa kusarudzwa nesu, isu mavoters, kwete kudomana mega. ndihwo huwori hwamaida kuita dai makaitwa President nhai save. chero padare rasabhuku iyi nyaya munoiruza chetei

  14. 15 years for morgan to show real leadership and he has failed.time for him to move on lest mdc loses significance. he has done his part . with so much confusion beign displayed so early it can only get worse. CHINJA!!

  15. I smell an inside plot to destroy Tsvangirai, the death of Susan, Isaac Matongo, Makumbe, Jongwe I fear it was the end of this man, I suspect the movement has been hijacked.But you Zanuids laugh out loudly today for great shall be your mourning.

  16. @magame.By the way, Ignatius Chombo is not the one who interprets the law as you would like the readership to believe.It is the sole responsibility of the Judiciary to do so, therefore i don’t understand kuti Chombo anoita misinterpret the law akamira sani since he is neither a magistrate nor a Judge.Nhaka munorima dota maChinja.

  17. AA imiwoyeee tsavngirai is saying the Coutrs belong to Zanu pf so lets have plan B, he knows wat mugabe judges will say, besides even if tsvangison makes mistakes mugabe is worse off 33 years achimamira nyika chete nxaaaaaa

  18. it is amazing that we give props to the legendery interlects of zanu pf. they cn read and they are the only ones who can interpret e constitution. Mdc will in the next five years never run a successful council dats y the president warned city dwellers watch e space

  19. mdc seem to forget they and their learned lawyers made a great stride in changing the constitution. they made restrictive changes, hoping of coz it will be to their advantage in the new mdc lead gvt. now that they failed to win, every law seem to work against them.. beware of these graves you dig for others, lest you be buried in them…

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