MASVINGO mayor Hubert Fidze and his deputy James Chiwara are out of the race for this year’s general elections after they surrendered their council seats in MDC-T re-run primary elections held at the weekend.
BY TATENDA CHITAGU/ STEPHEN CHADENGA
Fidze was pummelled by former councillor Vasivenyu Chimombe, while Chiwara developed cold feet and withdrew from the bruising fight.
Incumbent councillor Daniel Mberikunashe sailed through uncontested after his challenger, Alexio Mupfungani, withdrew at the last minute.
In ward 7, incumbent Richard Musekiwa beat Tafara Masimba.
In ward 4, which was previously uncontested, Godfrey Kurauone, the youngest councillor to sit in the Masvingo council, was beaten by two votes by Thokozile Muchuchuti, widow of former councillor, Daniel Muchuchuti.
Other councillors got in by consensus and these include former deputy mayor Selina Maridza in ward 1 on the women’s quota, lawyers Collin Maboke and Martin Mureri in wards 2 and 8 respectively (youth quota), Babylon Beta in ward 9 on consensus and former mayor, Alderman Femius Chakabuda’s widow, Magret (ward 10).
MDC-T Masvingo provincial chair James Gumbi said the re-runs were informed by the complaints by members and this time they made the process transparent to avoid complaints.
“We tried our best this time after complaints by our members. We did not want to have farcical re-runs. We believe the re-runs were free, fair and credible,” he said.
In Gweru Urban, some sitting councillors lost the polls, with new faces being ushered in.
Deputy mayor and ward 8 councilllor, Willard Ndaguta lost to Notal Dzika, while in ward 3, councillor Nokuthula Mbano is said to be hanging by the thread pending results in the disputed polls. Gibson Fundira (ward 9) lost to Edson Kurebwaseka, Bonface Magara (ward 18) was beaten by Sinyaruwa Manyundwa, while Ernest Guduza (ward 14) lost to Ndava.
In ward 5, Mores Marecha who was fired from council during former Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s era, failed to win back his seat after losing to Cleopas Shiri. Albert Chirau, who was also fired during the same period, won back ward 11.
In ward 4, Midlands South home affairs secretary, Martin Chivhoko won after beating other aspiring candidates including (2008-2013) former deputy mayor, Taurai Demo.