I won’t defect to Khupe: Gwanda mayor



GWANDA mayor Jastone Mazhale yesterday pledged undying loyalty to the MDC Alliance and its leadership as he denied reports of crossing the floor to the Thokozani Khupe-led MDC-T.

Mazhale is among five Gwanda councillors who had a meeting with a delegation from MDC-T over the weekend to nudge them to voluntarily quit the MDC Alliance or risk recall from council.

Khupe last month recalled five MDC Alliance councillors in Bulawayo and six in Harare for refusing to recognise her following a Supreme Court ruling which declared her the interim leader of the MDC-T.

“The correct position is that I still remain an MDC Alliance member where at provincial level I am the secretary for policy and research,” Mazhale, who is also ward 7 councillor, said as he confirmed attending the Khupe-facilitated meeting.

“It’s true I attended the meeting agreeing to engage them in my personal capacity. We engaged and they put their side of the story and eventually I had to tell them that no, I do not buy their story.

“It was out of courtesy that I gave them room for dialogue; and even on Tuesday they were saying can we meet again so that we pursue the issue, but I refused because the moment we engage each other, we then spread falsehoods and that affects my principles and personality and it also affects my community role.”

Acting MDC-T spokesperson Khalipani Phugeni, who led the Khupe delegation, refused to reveal the outcome of the meeting.

“What I can only say is that we are trying to put our priorities right and deliver. We are seized with making sure that services to the people are delivered as we focus on alleviating the people’s suffering,” Phugeni told Southern Eye.

The former Deputy Prime minister has also recalled 21 MDC
Alliance legislators on allegations of severing ties with her

Indications are that more MDC Alliance members face recall for refusing to recognise Khupe’s legitimacy, instilling panic into some Bulawayo councillors and legislators.