Zanu PF councillor in soup over alliance with opposition

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ZANU PF leadership in Chikomba District wants council chairman Isarel Dhikinya stripped of his post for working closely with MDC Alliance councillors, which the leadership says was not in line with party policy.

By Miriam Mangwaya

Zanu PF provincial member in Chikomba District, Moses Matarutse, recently wrote a letter to Joel Biggie Matiza, who is the party provincial chairperson, notifying him of the resolution to bar Dhikinya from serving as the council chairman.

According to the letter dated March 24, 2020 which NewsDay Weekender is in possession of, Zanu PF is accusing Dhikinya of assigning an unnamed MDC Alliance councillor to distribute food to Zanu PF supporters during the official handover of government houses to Cyclone Idai victims in Masasa recently.

In the letter, which was signed by eight other local party leaders and copied to the President’s Office and the district development co-ordinator, Matarutse claimed there was a risk that the MDC Alliance councillor could poison Zanu PF supporters at the handover ceremony, among other allegations.

Chikomba Rural District Council has five MDC Alliance councillors, who are in charge of the Chivhu town board.

“We have resolved in the meeting of the Chikomba Zanu PF leadership that Cde Dhikinya, who is the chairman of the Chikomba Rural District Council, stops to operate as the chairman of the council representing Zanu PF as he is causing damage to the name of the party (sic),” part of the letter reads.

“Some of the allegations include denouncing the party calling me chiZanu PF … , calling for the arrest of the Zanu PF cadres, attacking Zanu PF vendors and asking them to go through the MDC councillor in the Chivhu town market (sic).”

Matarutse also accused Dhikinya of refusing to give council residential stands to Zanu PF youths for free.

In an interview, he, however, denied penning the letter, but confirmed that the party had raised some complaints over Dhikinya’s conduct during a meeting held recently at the council hall.

“I am not the one who wrote the letter, but I can confirm that the party is not happy about how Dhikinya side-lined the party leadership on devolution funds,” Matarutse said.

He said devolution was part of Zanu PF’s manifesto as it prepares for the 2023 general election.

Dhikinya confirmed that the party had written a letter intending to stop him from carrying out his duties, but said he could not comment over the phone.

“They are baying for my blood,” he said.

Efforts to get a comment form Matiza were in vain as his mobile phone continually went unanswered.

Chivhu town board chairperson Edwin Maseva, who is MDC Alliance ward 11 councillor, said Zanu PF leaders were dragging their internal squabbles into council matters, a move that he said was hindering development in the town.

“We don’t work with Zanu PF councillors covertly. We have a mandate to represent the people and our relationship with the council chairman is just professional,” he said.

“We always keep check on issues that protect public interest and we don’t entertain forces that are outside the jurisdiction of the council business. Our interests rest on the residents.”