Divisions rocking MDC-T continued through the festive season amid reports that senior officials in Manicaland attended the victory celebration party of expelled Mutare mayor Tatenda Nhambarare on Monday.
Mr Nhambarare was expelled from MDC-T by the party’s National Council on December 6 on accusations of working with Zanu-PF during elections for mayor and deputy mayor.
However, he is only expelled from the party but remains in council and is still mayor as per provisions of the law that state that only the Local Government Minister can dismiss him from his post.
The celebration party was reportedly attended by senior MDC officials like provincial executive secretary Mr Misheck Kagurabadza, Mr Giles Mutsekwa, Mr Patrick Chitaka, Ms Lynette Karenyi and Mr David Chimhini.
Ms Karenyi confirmed attending the party, but said she did so in her personal capacity.
“I attended the party because I am related to Nhambarare,” she said.
Mr Kagurabadza also confirmed attending the party.
“It was a civic gathering. I attended the party in my own personal capacity,” he said.
He could not comment on his position regarding his party’s decision to expel Mr Nhambarare.
“I am not talking about that, we are talking about what happened on Monday,” he said.
Mr Mutsekwa declined to comment on the matter yesterday.
“I will not comment on that. Why don’t you talk to Nhambarare on the matter,” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from Clr Nhambarare were fruitless as his mobile phone was unreachable.
MDC-T won 13 council seats in Mutare in the July 31 elections while Zanu-PF won six.
Mr Nhambarare and the three other councillors were accused of entering a deal with Zanu-PF councillors to undermine MDC-T’s preferred mayoral candidate in the subsequent civic elections.
MDC-T wanted Clr Thomas Nyamupanedengu as mayor, but the councillors voted otherwise, and then also voted for a deputy mayor from Zanu-PF.
MDC-T is battling similar defiance in Gweru where party officials have recommended the dismissal of elected mayor Clr Hamutendi Kombayi and nine other councillors for allegedly siding with Zanu-PF in civic elections.
Zanu-PF won mayoral seats in Kwekwe, Redcliff and Victoria Falls through the votes of MDC-T councillors.