Kamangeni Phiri and Patrick Chitumba Chronicle Reporters
MDC-T councillors in Victoria Falls, Redcliff and Kwekwe yesterday abandoned their party and voted for Zanu-PF councillors as mayors. In Victoria Falls where Zanu-PF has three councillors against MDC-T’s seven, Ward 10 councillor, Clr Sifiso Mpofu of the ruling party won the mayoral post by getting six votes, beating MDC-T’s Ward One councillor Margaret Valley who got four.
Clr Noris Nyathi (MDC-T) of Ward Seven was elected deputy mayor.
Clr Nyathi who nominated himself for the position of deputy mayor shrugged off competition from Clr Ephias Mambune of Ward Six.
Clr Mpofu and Clr Nyathi succeed Alderman Nkosilathi Jiyane and Clr Patricia Mwale respectively.
Meanwhile, six MDC-T councillors were briefly detained at Victoria Falls Police Station for unlawful gathering.
The councillors were later released and attended the swearing in ceremony that was presided over by Hwange District Administrator, Mr Tapera Muguriya, Provincial Administrator Ms Latiso Dlamini and the Acting Town Clerk, Mr Philip Ndlovu before they elected the new mayor.
In his acceptance speech, Clr Mpofu called on the new councillors to bury their differences and work for the common good of Victoria Falls.
In Redcliff, Zanu-PF also defied all odds as its candidate, Ward Nine Councillor Freddy Kapuya defeated MDC-T’s Clr Takura Chikwiri of Ward Eight by a vote.
Clr Kapuya had five votes against Clr Chikwiri’s four.
MDC-T has seven councillors while Zanu-PF has two.
The deputy mayor’s post was won by MDC-T’s Clr Vincent Shangwa Masiiwa of Ward Four.
In the gold-rich city of Kwekwe, Zanu-PF’s Clr Matenda Titos Madzoke of Amaveni’s Ward Seven is the new mayor after beating Ward 10’s Clr Aaron Gwalazimba of MDC-T.
The dreaded toss of the coin to decide who wins the mayoral post was avoided after Clr Madzoke polled eight votes against Clr Gwalazimba’s six.
Zanu-PF and MDC-T had seven councillors each in the 14 member council. The new deputy mayor of Kwekwe is MDC-T’s Clr Aaron Sithole of Ward Five who beat fellow party candidate, Clr Weston Masiya of Ward Three.
Zanu-PF also won the Zibagwe Rural District Council chairperson and the vice chairperson posts as expected.
Clr Andersen Chamunogwa Zvishamira won the chairperson’s post while Clr Jason Deflefs is the new vice-chairperson. The revolutionary party had won 28 of the 33 wards.
Voting in all the three local authorities was done through secret ballot.
Kwekwe District Administrator, Mr Ten Percent Daniel Mutikizizi who presided over all the three elections, said the elections were free, fair and peaceful.
“We had a mammoth task of holding elections for the three different councils. I think we have the highest number of local authorities in the country. I am glad all councillors showed maturity and this made our job quite easy,” he said.