MDC T Secretary-General Douglas Mwonzora has said the alliance that was signed by a number of political parties to form the MDC Alliance on 5 August 2017, stipulated that the MDC T would always provide a mayor for Harare, ZimMorning Post reports.
Mwonzora was speaking after the MDC T candidate lost to MDC Alliance Councillor Jacob Mafume in last week’s mayoral election. Said Mwonzora:
An operational agreement was made on August 5, 2017 by parties to the Alliance. The agreement, which is legally binding and expressed in writing says the MDC-T shall always provide a mayor in Harare if, as expected, it got the majority councillors with Tendai Biti’s PDP party taking the deputy mayorship. This is why the candidacy for councillor of Mt Pleasant was reserved for Mafume.
Mwonzora also said they were going to employ many approaches to get their way:
(Questioning the operational legality of Mafume being the Harare Mayor) It is one of the multi-pronged approach we are going to use to get a redress.
However, when Mafume was contacted for comment, Mafume said the MDC T was not interpreting the law correctly and said:
The law says a mayor will be voted for at a special council meeting and that the candidate is voted by councillors. It is a secret ballot. The councillors that are in council are not known by political affiliation.
A Zanu PF councillor could easily have become mayor. An indipendent councillor could (also) easily have become mayor. A mayor is voted for by councillors. Period.
A mayor is not brought into existence by any agreement. That is why a political party or person can easily and simply nominate anybody.
A mayor comes into existence by virtue of the provisions of the Local Government Act and not by any (other) agreement that you might have with somebody for any undue influence. A secret ballot is exactly that; a secret ballot.
It is not supposed to be influenced by anything (else); money, agreements or whatever process that is outside the conduct of that secret ballot.
Komichi has also dismissed reports that the MDC T will recall MDC Alliance councillors because he said they do not want the council to be run by a commission appointed by the government.
More: ZimMorning Post