Confusion has hit Gwanda town as to which political party their newly elected Mayor belongs.
Ward 4 councillor, Njabulo Siziba was elected as the new mayor replacing former mayor Jastone Mazhale who was recently recalled by the MDC-T party for being aligned to the MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa.
Cllr Siziba won the mayoral race polling five votes beating Ward 10 councillor Albert Ndlovu of Zanu-PF who garnered four votes following a rerun.
The new mayor had initially been nominated together with Cllr Ndlovu and Cllr Thulani Moyo also of Zanu-PF.
In the first round of voting, Cllr Moyo garnered one vote while his rivals garnered four votes each leading to a re-run.
The victory by Siziba immediately sent wild celebrations from the Chamisa led party who claimed the victory as theirs.
The MDC Alliance Secretary General Charlton Hwende was the first senior party official to claim the victory minutes after the results were announced.
It has however since emerged that the MDC-T led by Thokozani Khupe claims Siziba was their candidate and was nominated by the party in a caucus meeting a day before the election.
The party claims that all opposition party councillors attended the meeting and unanimously endorsed Siziba as the party candidate with current Deputy Mayor Ponolo Maphala retaining his position.
Speaking to journalists on Monday evening after the election, MDC-T party spokesperson Khaliphani Phugeni challenged anyone with proof that Siziba was an MDC Alliance candidate to bring the information forward as he was convinced that the Mayor is an MDC-T member.
However, speaking to ZimEye.com in an interview on Tuesday, councillor Siziba all but confirmed that he was an MDC Alliance member.
Siziba initially refused to give ZimEye.com an interview indicating that he was mourning his son who passed on two days before the election.
Probed on who ZimEye.com could talk to on his behalf he referred the journalist to an MDC Alliance administration officer.
“You can talk to Mr Gwebu the party administrator at the offices in Gwanda, he has all the information,” said Siziba.
When probed to which party Gwebu belonged Siziba indicated that its the MDC Alliance before confessing that it is the party he also belongs to.
Gwanda Municipality now has nine councillors following the recalling of the former mayor Mazhale.
In his acceptance speech, Cllr Siziba pledged to work tirelessly to improve service delivery in the town.
“I would like to thank you all my fellow councillors for entrusting me with this role of being the mayor of the town. I hope to carry on from where my predecessor left off. My main focus will be issues of service delivery such as water, sewer and refuse collection. It should show that our town has leadership which has people at heart by the level of service delivery,” he said.
“As councillors we have always worked together as a team and we should continue in the same spirit. I have the utmost respect for all of you as councillors and I hope that we will continue working well together regardless of political affiliation for the betterment of our town. This town has a lot of potential and if development is properly implemented, we can see a lot of improvement.”
Gwanda District Administrator, Ms Kiliboni Ndou administered the election process which was conducted through a secret ballot.