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Ousted MDC-T councillors on a rebellious path

by Staff reporter
10 Feb 2012 at 06:14hrs | Views
MDC-T councillors who were recently ousted from the Bulawayo City Council's General Purposes (GP) Committee have reportedly started blocking the election of councillors that the party recommended to replace them.

A full-scale "war" that has reportedly caused deep divisions among the councillors is brewing after a meeting at the party's Bulawayo headquarters last week "recommended" that certain councillors be voted into the vacant positions.

The influential GP is made up of the chairpersons of council's standing committees.

Members are entitled to perks that include all expense paid trips and attractive subsistence allowances.

Three committee chairpersons have been selected by councillors so far.

Of the 28 councillors, 24 are from MDC-T while the remainder are from the MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube. There was drama when councillors voted for the powerful Finance and Development Committee on Monday as one of the ousted councillors re-wrote the "script" that was agreed on at the party's headquarters.

"It had been agreed that Councillor James Sithole, the former chairperson of the Municipal Procurement Board, would be made chairperson of the Finance and Development Committee.

"However, Clr Phinias Ndlovu of Ward 14, who was on leave, unexpectedly showed up and instead of nominating Clr Sithole as agreed, nominated Ward 25 councillor, Clr Edward Ndlovu. Clr Earnest Rafamoyo followed the party's instructions and nominated Clr Sithole," said a councillor who was at the meeting.

The councillor said the first vote was tied at six apiece for the nominees and a second one was called for.

"We were stunned. As we prepared for the second vote, Clrs John Ferguson and Paul Malaba of the MDC walked in and they tilted the vote in Clr Edward Ndlovu's favour. Clr Jenifer Bent of Ward 6 who proposed the motion to rotate chairpersons, was voted into the deputy's post," said the councillor.

Clr Phinias Ndlovu, who belongs to MDC-T reportedly disappeared soon after the vote. Frantic efforts by the MDC-T to contain the simmering confrontations came to nought as councillors ignored an instruction to attend a meeting at the party's Bulawayo headquarters.

"Tempers flared and other councillors labelled Clr Phinias Ndlovu a sell-out who was driven by bitterness over being removed from the chairmanship of the Town Lands and Planning committee. The MDC-T called an urgent meeting the following day but disgruntled councillors did not attend," another councillor said.

The fracas continued on Tuesday when an MDC councillor was voted as deputy chairperson of the Future Water Supplies and Water Action Committee.

"It had been agreed at the party's meeting that the four MDC councillors should not be voted into any of the posts that were up for grabs. However, in an apparent protest vote over the party's meddling into the affairs of council, Clr Ngwalo Nyathi of the MDC was voted into office," said one of the councillors.

Councillors said those who were voted out of office were greedy and did not want to give others a chance to enjoy the benefits that come with chairpersons' position.

Contacted for comment, Clr Phinias Ndlovu said he had exercised his democratic right as espoused in the party's manifesto.

"Whoever said I was wrong must be mad. The party encourages us to be democratic and imposition of candidates goes against what the party stands for. What is wrong about nominating Clr Edward Ndlovu? Does he not have a right to show his capabilities?" asked Clr Phinias Ndlovu.

"Since this confusion about chairpersons started, I have never commented. I have not attended the meetings that were called by the party on the issue because they are not the reason why I stood in elections as a councillor. I am only worried about giving the people of Ward 14 the service I promised them when they chose me," he said.

Clr Nduna Dladla, the former finance committee chairperson who moved a counter motion to oust the Deputy Mayor, Clr Amen Mpofu, accusing him of influencing Clr Bent to move the motion, could not be reached for comment.

The confusion among the MDC-T councillors is expected to continue next week as the remaining committees, the Town Lands and Planning, Environmental Management and Engineering, Health, Housing and Education, Municipal Procurement and Audit chairpersons are elected.

Source - tc