A FULL council meeting almost failed to take off in Kwekwe after seven councillors from the MDC-T threatened to boycott the session accusing their Zanu PF colleagues of taking them for granted.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Councillor Morris Chinwada (MDC-T) said MDC-T city fathers were at the civic centre for the meeting at 9am, but had to wait for more than an hour for their Zanu PF counterparts to arrive from a party caucus.
“Management also appeared to have taken the Zanu PF side because they were also not in chambers at the time the council meeting was supposed to start. I am sure they were aware of the Zanu PF caucus which was going on,” Chinwada said.
After waiting for an hour, the MDC-T councillors then left chambers and retreated to their party office for a caucus of their own resolving to boycott Monday’s full council meeting in a move that threatened the development of the city.
The standoff lasted for nearly two hours until mayor Matenda Madzoke (Zanu PF) was forced to negotiate with the MDC-T councillors to return to chambers for the meeting.
Madzoke apologised to Kwekwe residents for the standoff, saying it was just a misunderstanding which was later solved and called for unity of purpose for the benefit of the residents.
“I came for the meeting late, not because I was at a caucus, but I indeed appreciate the frustrations of our colleagues from the MDC-T, it looked as if they had been disrespected and they were right to walk away. I, however, had to appeal to them so that we look at the bigger picture and gladly they were willing,” Madzoke said.
The seven Zanu PF councillors had tried to armtwist Madzoke to proceed with the meeting in the absence of the MDC-T because they formed a quorum, but the mayor resisted.
“We could have proceeded, but it would not have been to the disadvantage of MDC-T, but of the city. Those ratepayers who are represented by half of our councillors would have been without a voice. So we had to find each other,” he said.
Councillor Aaron Gwalazimba (MDC-T) said it was sad that city managers called for a meeting to start at 9am and yet they and half of the council did not pitch up.
“I think that is being partisan for council officials. It is wrong and should not be allowed to continue,” he said.
Gwalazimba said MDC-T councillors only went back because of their interest in serving the people of Kwekwe.