MDC–T — which controls all council wards in Bulawayo following the July 31 elections — is this week expected to finalise the selection of the city’s next mayor.
Southern Eye Editorial
Surprisingly, jockeying for the post has drawn in potential candidates who are not among the newly-elected councillors.
Some of the names that have been bandied about include that of outgoing Speaker of Parliament, Lovemore Moyo, who has publicly said he would take the post if the MDC-T decides to “deploy” him to City Hall.
Other contenders for the post are lawyer Kucaca Phulu, local businessman and farmer Joubert Mangena, businessman Gift Banda, returning councillors Earnest Rafamoyo and Martin Khumalo as well as National University of Science and Technology lecturer Mandla Nyathi.
Phulu and Nyathi, who have been in the running for the top post since the run-up to the elections, are being tipped by different factions in the MDC-T as front-runners.
However, the two are not elected councillors and it would be interesting how the selection unfolds because the government has already sent out a directive that the selection would be narrowed to those already in council.
MDC-T might be having something up their sleeve regarding the laws regulating the selection of the mayor.
But an interesting signal being sent by the party, by casting its net wider beyond the elected councillors, is that it does not have confidence in them.
MDC-T provincial chairman Gorden Moyo has stated that the party is looking for a candidate who has the capacity to spur the city’s turnaround.
He rightly noted that residents voted for people who would be “able to drive Bulawayo industry regrowth, infrastructure rehabilitation and make Bulawayo alive again”.
It is our hope that the MDC-T would not lose sight of those aspirations when it chooses the mayor, whether from among the elected councillors or from its external pool of party cadrés.
Bulawayo has been in the doldrums for too long and the city needs very strong leadership.
The MDC-T has a big responsibility to give the city a mayor with all these qualities and more.