MASVINGO: Anger and bribery charges as MDC Alliance elects Zanu PF deputy mayor

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By Associated Press

CHAOS reigned in Masvingo Wednesday as MDC Alliance supporters besieged town hall, protesting the election of a Zanu PF councillor as the city’s deputy mayor.

The country’s main opposition party controls the local authority, having won 7 seats out of 10 in the July 30 elections.

Prominent city lawyer Collins Maboke, from the MDC Alliance, was elected the new mayor after he got the majority votes when the newly sworn in councillors voted for the top post.

However, the surprise election of ward 6’s Zanu PF councillor and local property mogul Wellington Mahwende as deputy mayor infuriated MDC Alliance supporters.

Angry supporters accused MDC Alliance councillors of betrayal and receiving bribes from the land baron to support his bid to become deputy mayor.

Mahwende pulled 7 votes against the MDC Alliance’s Serina Maridza, the only female councillor, who got three votes.

“These councillors have let us down,” charged one supporter.

“How could a Zanu PF councillor be the deputy mayor when our party has the majority of the seats?

“We need a proper explanation even to take this issue to President Chamisa for him to come and sort out this mess.

“These people received money from Zanu PF for them to act this way.”

Municipal police had a torrid time in controlling the baying crowd.

They had to lock the entrance to the council chambers as angry supporters threatened to storm the building and assault their party councillors.

Efforts to get a comment from MDC Alliance provincial Chairman James Gumbi were fruitless as his phone went unanswered.