Mwonzora axe hangs over Masvingo councillors

By Moses Ziyambi

MDC-T secretary general Douglas Mwonzora is said to be planning to extend his recall of MDC Alliance councillors to Masvingo where he reportedly faces immense resistance, reports Tell Zim

Fear of recalls among the seven MDC Alliance Masvingo Urban councillors increased recently after Mwonzora recalled 11 Harare councillors including the deputy mayor in the wake of a mayoral by-election which was won by Jacob Mafume ahead of Mwonzora’s preferred candidate Luckson Mukunguma.

Those fired in Harare are Lovemore Makuwerere, Gilbert Hadebe Gilbert, Simon Mapanzure, Charles Chidhagu, Keith Charumbira, Steven Dhliwayo, Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi, Barnabas Ndira, Runyowa Chihoma, Charles Nyatsuro and Enoch Mupamawonde.

The Mwonzora faction went on to capture the Marondera mayoral position with the help of the town’s lone Zanu PF councillor after recalling some councillors perceived to be loyal to Nelson Chamisa.

Mwonzora told TellZim News over the phone that he did not have any immediate reason to recall anybody in Masvingo.

“Currently, we have not received any complaints as to the behavior of councillors in Masvingo so they must not worry. We only go for those that show disloyalty to the party,” said Mwonzora.

He however warned that the councillors should stay warned that they will be recalled should they step out of line.

“Many chose to be misled by the likes of Tendai Biti and they thought it was impossible but I am glad that they now understand what we are capable of doing,” warned Mwonzora.

Mwonzora is said to be targeting Masvingo Urban Ward 4 Cllr Godfrey Kurauone, who is MDC Alliance national youth organising secretary and strong Chamisa ally; Ward 5 Cllr Daniel Mberikunashe, who is related to Chamisa; and Ward 7 Cllr Richard Musekiwa, who is also said to be strongly loyal to Chamisa.

Sources said Mwonzora could spare Mayor Collen Maboke, who had several runs-in with Chamisa prior to the controversial Supreme Court judgement which sparked the turmoil engulfing the opposition movement.

Sources say the other two councillors; Selima Maridza of Ward 1 and Tarusenga Vhembo of Ward 3 could be threatened into towing the Mwonzora line and spared as well.

When contacted for comment, Mberikunashe said he did not mind getting a recall.

“I am who I am so bring it on. There is no sense in losing sleep for fear of being recalled when I am an MDC Alliance councillor who was voted into office by the people. I remain committed to the ideals of the party and nothing can shake me,” said Mberikunashe.

Musekiwa also said he was not worried as he was a committed party member whose power lied in what the people wanted.

“I have not yet heard about any threats to recall me but I am not worried at all. Leadership is derived from the people who vote us into office so it is the same people who matter to me. I will remain a member of the MDC Alliance,” said Musekiwa.

In his response to questions, Kurauone said he had been through a lot and could not be shaken by shallow and vindictive politics.

“I represent the people and have been through a lot. Being a councillor is good because you have a chance to represent the people but then, you cannot impose yourself on the people. Nobody can really recall you from the people so I am not bothered,” said Kurauone, who recently spent 42 days in remand prison on spurious charges that he says amounted to political persecution.

On his part, a jittery Vhembo said it was unfortunate that councillors were made to feel insecure and unsure about their future.

“We want to be able to deliver on the mandate give to us by the people without fear. Right now there is a lot of uncertainty and rumour-mongering and back-stabbing which is not fruitful. People are maliciously labeling each other pro-this and anti-that, which  is wrong,” said Vhembo.