Mafume’s Ouster: Zimbabwe’s Opposition in Crisis

Chamisa fires Harare mayor for alleged corruption and power grab

by Victor Adetimilehin

The leader of Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, Nelson Chamisa, has fired the mayor of Harare, Jacob Mafume, over allegations of corruption and power grab.

In September 2020, Mafume, the mayor of the capital city, faced accusations of colluding with a faction within the party to oust his predecessors and retain his post after the upcoming elections in August 2023.

Chamisa also sacked six other councilors from Marondera, Bulawayo, Mutare and Harare for similar reasons, saying they were destabilizing the party and undermining its principles.

The move has sparked a backlash from some party members and supporters, who accused Chamisa of being dictatorial and violating the party’s constitution.


Mafume Denies Wrongdoing

Mafume, who is also facing criminal charges of abuse of office and bribery in a separate case, has denied any wrongdoing and challenged Chamisa’s decision.

He said he was the victim of a witch-hunt by a rival faction within the party, led by the secretary-general, Sengezo Tshabangu, who is allegedly eyeing the mayoral position.

Tshabangu, who claims to be the interim secretary-general of the party, has written to the Local Government Minister, Winston Chitando, dismissing Chamisa’s authority to recall councilors and asking him to disregard his letters.

He also said there were legal matters pending before the courts that barred Chamisa from recalling councilors.


Chamisa’s Legitimacy Challenged

Chamisa’s legitimacy as the leader of the opposition party has been challenged by his former deputy, Douglas Mwonzora, who grabbed the party’s name and assets after a court ruling in March 2020.

The ruling said Chamisa was not the rightful successor of the late founding leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, who died in 2018, and ordered the party to hold an extraordinary congress to elect a new leader.

Mwonzora, who claimed to have won the congress in December 2020, has since recalled dozens of opposition lawmakers and councillors who refused to recognise him as the leader.

Chamisa, who rejected the court ruling and the congress as a sham, has formed a new party called the MDC Alliance, which is a coalition of seven opposition parties.


Opposition in Disarray

Analysts said that the opposition in Zimbabwe is in disarray and needs to unite and reform if it wants to pose a serious threat to Mnangagwa’s ruling ZANU-PF party, which has been in power since independence in 1980.

They also said that the opposition needs to articulate a clear and alternative vision for the country, which is facing a deep economic and social crisis, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Others believed that the opposition can still mobilize and galvanize its supporters, if it can overcome its internal differences and focus on the common goal of bringing democratic change and accountability to Zimbabwe.

Source: New Zimbabwe

You may also like

white logo with motto

The Zimbabwe Advocate is more than just a news outlet. We are a movement, a symbol of resistance against misinformation.

Latest News

© 2024 The Zimbabwe Advocate. All Rights Reserved.