CHIPINGE – There is a hung council at Chipinge after attempts to elect a new chairman failed twice yesterday with the two contestants getting the same number of votes in each of the two rounds.
The elections pitted CCC against MDC T. The two contestants were former mayor Zivanayi Nyakuchena who bounced back into council after being reelected on March 26, 2022 and Lovemore Mukwapati who was elected chairman after the recall of the former.
However, Mukwapati protested that the elections were illegal as they were not provided for under the Urban Councils Act. Mukwapati said there was no need to elect another chairman when his election into that position still stood.
Fierce arguments ensued but the presiding officer declared that the elections would go on.
Acting Town Secretary James Mutemera and Acting Human Resources and Administration Officer Manyuke Chirayirayi failed to provide the Act governing such a situation.
The elections followed the swearing in of four CCC councillors who were recalled by Douglas Mwonzora of the MDC T.
The two contestants got four votes each in the first round of the elections presided over by assistant District Development Coordinator (DDC) Chamunorwa Salani. There was a call for a second round and the results did not change.
Mukwapati accused Salani of not reading the Urban Councils Act before coming to the swearing in ceremony.
His arguments seemed to hold water as Chipinge Town Council is the only local authority that is reelecting its council chairman after the March 26, 2022 by elections.
The councilors who took oath of office yesterday were Zivanai Nyakuchena (Ward 1), Sarah Marwa Mlambo (Ward 3), Crispen Rambu (Ward 8) and Rast Thomo (Ward 4).
Mukwapati told Chipinge Times after the ceremony that the agenda of the meeting was merely to swear in the new councilors.
Chipinge Times saw the agenda and it had no provision for elections.