Exorcise Bulawayo tribal ghost

HARARE - MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has condemned the tribal furore that erupted at Bulawayo City Council after his party councillor Arnold Batirai was caught in the eye of a storm after he used Shona to recite an oath during the swearing-in ceremony last Friday.

Chamisa said tribalism is a “ghost that needs to be exorcised” in Bulawayo.

He told the Daily News on Sunday in an interview that it is unfortunate that during this era, certain individuals are still stuck in tribal conflicts yet there are more pressing developmental  issues to think about.

“Yes we are aware of the issues of tribalism in Bulawayo and we are seeking to address them. The people of Bulawayo voted for councillors, they did not vote for a tribe, clan or race.

“They voted for representation in council, it’s the party they wanted to vote for,” Chamisa said.

“They voted for representatives who are residents of Bulawayo. We want to build a national consensus. One should assert the position of leadership on the basis of merit and competence.

“We represent an alternative; we can’t afford tribal fights, with people trying to pull each other down.”

Bulawayo finally elected councillor Solomon Mguni as mayor last Friday, after a phase of squabbles.

Police details had to be called in earlier as Bulawayo residents disrupted initial elections for the mayor and deputy after they protested against the no-show by councillors to a new venue they had suggested.

Mguni, a lawyer, is being deputised by ward 3 councillor Tinashe Kambarami.

The past week has been characterised by chaos at Bulawayo’s council chambers, with residents vowing that the position of mayor will not be taken by a Shona-speaking councillor.

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