Masvingo – The embattled MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has ordered newly elected Masvingo City Mayor, Collen Maboke to step down after his favourite candidate Godfrey Kurauone failed to land the mayoral position.
Maboke whitewashed Kurauone by seven votes to three but both candidates are now accused by Chamisa of canvassing for Zanu PF votes.
Chamisa has called for fresh mayoral elections and it is understood that he now prefers Ward 5 Councillor Daniel Mberikunashe who is believed to be his close relative for mayor after the suspension of both Kuraunone and Maboke.
Chamisa confirmed to a local paper that he had issued an instruction for Maboke to step down.
It has been gathered from impeccable sources that Maboke, a lawyer with Ruvengo Maboke and Company Legal Practitioners was summoned to Harare on Friday where the order was given in the presence of senior party officials including Zwizwayi Murisi (elections secretary), Charlton Hwende (deputy treasurer general) and Morgan Komichi (Chairman).
Zanu PF councillor Wellington Mawende was elected deputy mayor for Masvingo.
Masvingo provincial executive including its chairman James Gumbi was part of the meeting. It is understood that the decision shocked Gumbi and his executive that faces a daunting task against Zanu PF after the MDC lost 3 wards out of 10 in Masvingo Urban and 25 out of 26 seats in Parliament.
Mberikunashe is unemployed and has a certificate in welding
A top administrator at Masvingo City Council laughed off MDC Alliance as a big joke for trying to overturn results of elections conducted transparently and in the presence of hundreds of residents.
Maboke is a lawyer while Kuraunone did not go beyond A Level and dropped out of his certificate studies at Masvingo Poly.
“Yes we have asked Maboke to step down and we need fresh elections. This is because councillors defied party position,” said Chamisa in an interview with with a local weekly.
Maboke switched off his phone when a reporter from the local weekly introduced the topic.
Chamisa threatened to expel all the four MDC Alliance councillors who voted Maboke if Maboke fails to step down.
An analyst however, told the local weekly that Chamisa was pressing the self-destruct button because Zanu PF will emerge stronger after “this circus”.
He also said that Chamisa was creating booby traps for himself ahead of the MDC Alliance congress due by March 2019.
‘Chamisa has been accused of imposing friends and relatives since his time as the party national organiser. He is firmly confirming this and arming his enemies in the party,” said the analyst.
A party supporter said it was hypocritical for Chamisa to accuse Kurauone and Maboke of going to bed with Zanu PF councillors when he himself formed an alliance with Grace and Robert Mugabe at the just ended elections.