THE opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party has dismissed reports that the election of Donaldson Mabutho as Bulawayo deputy mayor was a directive from party leader Nelson Chamisa.
Former Primary and Secondary Education minister David Coltart was on Monday elected unopposed as the mayor after Chamisa recently suggested that he was the best fit for the post.
Following his nomination and subsequent election, Coltart later nominated Mabutho, who was not opposed despite earlier reports that former Habakkuk Trust chief executive officer Dumisani Nkomo was tipped to assume the deputy mayor position.
There were protests outside council chambers by a group of disgruntled residents when it emerged that Mabutho had been elected unopposed as deputy mayor.
They accused Chamisa of imposing both the mayor and his deputy on the ratepayers.
Bulawayo CCC spokesperson Swithern Chirowodza denied the reports linking Chamisa to the selection of the deputy mayor.
“These are merely false allegations. The election of Mabutho to the position of deputy mayor was a councillors’ choice,” he said.
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association chairperson Ambrose Sibindi condemned the way the election was conducted, claiming that councillors were not accorded their right to choose.
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“Councillors must be given a leeway to choose leaders among themselves, as enshrined in the Urban Councils Act, which gives them power to choose, rather than the party choosing leaders on behalf of them,” he said.
Sibindi added that councillors should be given their right to choose in the upcoming selection of chairpersons.
“We need to see councillors choose in the coming chairperson selections, and they should stop using extreme working systems like guided democracy because when they do that residents get confused on whose interests they will be serving, party or residents’ interest.”