By Felix Matasva, Manicaland Correspondent
CITIZEN’s Coalition for Change (CCC) ward 12 councillor and a lawyer Simon Chabuka Thursday won the Mutare mayoral post in a tightly contested race against deputy mayor Farai Bhiza of the MDC-T.
The post fell vacant after former Mayor councillor Blessing Tandi was recalled last Friday by the Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-T for incompetence.
In an election conducted Thursday morning at Civic Centre, Chabuka polled six votes against Bhiza’s five.
Chabuka confirmed the development in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com soon after the polls.
“I would like to give assurance that we will try our level best to serve the interests of Mutare’s residents and citizens of Zimbabwe at large,” Chabuka said.
“That assurance is guaranteed. We have an open-door policy for those with grievances to be addressed, opinions, suggestions and anything that leads to the development of the city.”
CCC Manicaland spokesperson David Panganayi said the polls proved that Nelson Chamisa’s party has got support ahead of the March 26 by-elections.
“We are very happy for Chabuka. Justice seems to be prevailing as far as that particular vote is concerned. I am sure the citizens of Mutare will give him necessary support. This is probably the tip of an iceberg, and we hope to do better on the 26th of March,” Panganayi said.
“We have 11 councillors at Civic Centre and judging from the result six of them supported Chamisa whilst four of them supported Mwonzora. We suspect that the independent councillor from ward 19 must have voted for Mwonzora,” Panganayi said.
MDC-T national spokesperson Witness Dube said they were still waiting for an election update from their for local government who was in Mutare to observe the election.
“All councillors belong to MDC-Alliance. CCC was formed last week my brother, how can a new part have a councillor? The results will give us an MDC Alliance councillor,” Dube said.