MDC in quandary over councillors

HARARE - There is unease in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC on whether to allow sitting councillors fingered in graft to run on the party’s ticket in the next election.

While reports indicate the party is cracking over sitting MPs who are facing serious challenge in party primaries, it is emerging that it is actually the issue of local government councillors which is a major issue.

A majority of councillors want to run again on the MDC ticket.

But many of these councillors in towns such as Harare, Mutare, Zvishavane and Bindura have been sucked in corruption and have tainted the party’s image over the years they have been in office, leaving the party in a quandary.  

Party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora (pictured) said the MDC was investigating corruption cases but admitted some would have to be judged by the electorate and not by party officials.

“The issue of corruption is on-going and we will continue to investigate as cases come in. Those implicated in corruption have to be found guilty by the party because we do not have confidence in the criminal justice system. It is compromised.

“We do not generalise issues it would be unfair to those who have worked very hard in their constituencies and wards. We have left that to the electorate to make a determination,” Mwonzora said.

MDC Harare provincial secretary for local government and president of the Elected Councillors Association Warship Dumba conceded the party’s representatives in councils are posing a headache for the party’s leadership.

“I can safely say our councillors have not been doing well. The majority of them are compromised and a government minister (name supplied) has been pushing his agenda through our councillors,” Dumba said.

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