MDC Alliance presidential spokesperson Dr Nkululeko Sibanda has torched a storm in Victoria Falls after he claimed that the residents association was being used by some political parties to destabilise the town.
Dr Nkululeko on Monday accused the Victoria Falls Combined Residents Association (Vifacora) of working in cahoots with some political parties to influence the local authority’s councillors to defy party orders on the mayorship issue.
MDC Alliance once again suspended recently re-instated Councillor Somvelo Dlamini on fresh allegations of bringing the party into disrepute by defying directives and undermining protocol among other charges.
No specific charges were cited in the suspension letter dated November 6 and signed by the party’s secretary for Matabeleland North, Mr Mxolisi Ndlovu.
Dr Sibanda claimed Vifacora had been infiltrated by political parties to confuse councillors.
“The issue of who becomes a mayor is something that the party has dealt with better than any other party. President Chamisa (Nelson) asked people to forward CVs which were given to a panel of former mayors and engineers to select the best candidate.
“The party then called residents to come up with a short list to recommend a mayor before the list was taken to the president who then recommends. In Victoria Falls we had an engineer, a lawyer and business people making the selection panel,” said Dr Sibanda.
He said the party was being misunderstood by both residents and the media, adding that Vifacora should be investigated
“The media is now saying that president Chamisa imposes people yet he only recommends. People are not used to democracy and we hope one day they will understand that the intentions are clear. Residents should be careful not to be led by wrong residents association,” said Dr Sibanda.
He accused Cllr Dlamini who was supposed to contest he Deputy Mayor’s post of circumventing the selection process.
Asked if the party was not concerned about stalling development in the resort town by suspending the mayor, Dr Sibanda said the process is aimed at making sure Victoria Falls has the best leader for development.
The party leadership’s preferred candidate is Cllr Margaret Varley who however lost to Cllr Dlamini by three votes to eight during election.
Dr Sibanda said the seven councillors who voted for Cllr Dlamini cannot be charged because they acted on the influence of other political parties.
Residents accuse Cllrs Varley, Ephias Mambume of Ward 6 and Edmore Zhou of Ward 11 of scheming against the mayor with the help of some provincial members for personal interests.
Last month the party was forced to reverse an earlier decision to fire Cllr Dlamini on the grounds that the provincial executive committee had not followed procedure.
Vifacora chairman Mr Morgen Gazza Dube said residents will not allow imposition of leaders.
“Residents aren’t involved in party affairs and we have never been in contact with any political party with regards to the issue hence it’s not true that they consulted anyone. Instead they sent Farai Chinobva who summoned councillors to Hwange to give them an order,” he said.
Mr Dube said Vifacora is apolitical.
“The residents association is composed of people from different political backgrounds so its mandate is to serve residents,” he said.—