By Bulawayo Correspondent
THREE MDC Alliance councillors in Bulawayo have been shortlisted for the city’s mayoral and deputy mayoral posts respectively after they emerged as the most qualified and favourites for the top jobs.
Reliable MDC Alliance sources told New Zimbabwe.com that the party this week requested all councillors interested in taking up the mayoral post to submit their applications to the party’s acting secretary for Local Government, Jameson Timba.
“The party has set a ceiling for all those councillors who are interested in the mayoral and deputy mayoral posts. All those interested councillors should have at least attained tertiary education,” said a senior MDC Alliance official.
According to the source, councillors Solomon Mguni (Ward 23), Silas Chigora (Ward 4) and Pumula councillor Clayton Zana have already been endorsed by the party.
Mguni, a lawyer, holds a Master’s degree while Chigora and Zana hold first degrees.
“The party has shortlisted Mguni, Chigora and Zana. Out of the 29 councillors, these are the most qualified people. After thoroughly scrutinised the qualifications of the three councillors, the party will guide other councillors on who to vote,” said the official.
The mayor and his or her deputy is voted by the councillors.
The search for the city’s mayor and his deputy has also ignited tribal tensions after some political parties in the city have openly demanded the two top posts must be held by Ndebeles.
Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa, who lost the Bulawayo Central parliamentary seat, claimed that the Alliance is planning to choose the mayor along ethnic lines.
“We advise MDC Alliance to be sensitive to local people’s needs of representation. They (MDC) boast and pride themselves in finally succeeding where Zanu PF failed, that is taking over Bulawayo from what they call ‘mandevere’ but its short term victory. In the long run, this will come back to devour their party,” he said.
When reached for comment, Bulawayo MDC Alliance spokesperson, Felix Mafa was adamant that his party has got the final word on who lands the mayoral post.
“It is the duty of the party to advice the councillors on who is the ideal candidate for the mayor, his or her deputy and chairpersons of strategic committees. At the end of the day, we want the best people to run the city of Bulawayo. Bulawayo is one of the best run cities in the country and we want to maintain that reputation,” said Mafa.
The MDC Alliance won all the 29 council seats in the city.