By Garikai Mafirakureva
THE opposition MDC has again suspended Masvingo mayor, Collin Maboke, and the entire provincial executive due to continued bickering and maladministration.
Maboke, who has been suspended for the third time, is being accused of defying party directives after he threw his hat in the ring to challenge preferred mayoral candidate Godfrey Kurauone and went on to win the post.
The announcement was made by party leader Nelson Chamisa over the weekend when he met the Masvingo provincial executive.
MDC deputy national chairperson, Job sikhala, has confirmed the development, and said an independent committee will be running party affairs in the province.
“The party made a resolution that the candidate for the mayor of Masvingo was councillor Godfrey Kurauone. The MDC has the majority in Masvingo City Council. To have an MDC mayor and a Zanu PF deputy speaks of underground deals that could have happened. The resolution of the party on who should be mayor should be implemented without question,” Sikhala said.
MDC controls Masvingo council after winning seven seats out of 10 in the 2018 elections.
However, there was an outcry from MDC supporters in the town after the surprise election of ward 6 Zanu PF councillor and local property mogul, Wellington Mahwende, as deputy mayor.
Supporters accused MDC councillors of betrayal and receiving bribes from the land baron to support his bid to become deputy mayor.
Mahwende garnered seven votes against the MDC’s Serina Maridza, who got three.
Sikhala said the party resolution should be respected.
“The announcement was to the effect that the national council resolution should just be obliged to. It is one of the issues of insubordination, which the province is alleged to have committed. Resolutions of the party are sacrosanct and need to be applied within the framework of the party,” he said.
Maboke could not be drawn into commenting on whether he was going to step down this time or defy the suspension.
“I have no comment,” he said curtly.
Sikhala said the party had also resolved to dissolve the entire Masvingo provincial executive following continued bickering and maladministration.
“As announced by the people’s president, advocate Nelson Chamisa, there will be an independent committee that is going to run the state of affairs in Masvingo to deal specifically with the issues of branch formation and sifting through districts with multiple structures into shape,” he said.
“The terms of references of the independent committee will be to align all the structures of Masvingo province with the dictates of the MDC constitution, resolutions of the national council and current thrust of the party to advance the vision of his excellency, the people’s president, advocate Nelson Chamisa.”
The combative deputy chair assured that the suspended members of the executive were not going to be fired from the party, but would be retained as ordinary card-carrying members.
“Any deviation from the vision will lead the party to enforce the policy that; if you don’t shape up, we will not ship you out, but force you to shape up. We are not shipping the suspended members, but shaping them to become aware of duties expected of someone in leadership position in the party,” Sikhala said.
“People are not in positions for decoration. They are there to deliver. It is a warning to all that we owe it to the people’s struggle to deliver change, not to derail change. Confusion of multiple structures for the same position as witnessed in Masvingo derails the struggle.”