Some Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party members in Bulawayo’s Ward 8 have expressed concern over the choice of the by-election candidate, Edwin Ndlovu, as the seat had been reserved for a female candidate.
Ndlovu is facing five rival candidates for the council seat and opposition from his own party members.
His candidature apparently sparked anger among party members who told CITE that the ward was supposed to have been assigned to a female candidate.
The local authority seat in Ward 8 fell vacant after the death of councillor, Ronia Mudara in July 2020 and the then MDC Alliance provincial executive and resolved to field a female candidate in the ward.
“In a ward or a constituency where there is a female candidate and in case of a vacancy thereof, the replacement must be a woman to continue empowering women. This is part of a resolution of the National Council in order to increase female representation,” said the party members who requested anonymity as they were not cleared to talk to the press.
Out of the seven local authority candidates, CCC fielded two female candidates Lillian Mlilo in Ward 12 and Concilia Mlalazi in Ward 18.
The aggrieved party members said the policy was meant to drive women’s participation but selfish individuals had bypassed that.
“We have millennium goals that speak to equal representation and we as a party had agreed that the ward should allow women only but this was scuttled by (secretary-general Charlton) Hwende.”
Reached for comment, CCC Bulawayo provincial spokesperson, Swithern Chirowodza, said the party was new and yet to develop policies on several issues, so this resolution fell to the side.
“We are CCC and a new party that is yet to have a convention to craft policies and guidelines. We are yellow and red so don’t take me back to MDC Alliance,” he said.
Another grievance cited against Ndlovu is that he does not stay in the ward, therefore will be divorced from the day-to-day issues.
However, Ndlovu said that issue does not arise as he is a ratepayer, who owns a shop in the same ward.
Ndlovu added that he also “pays bills for my parents who stay in Ward 8 and if there are sewer bursts next to the house, I am also affected as I contribute money towards fixtures.”
Ward 8 covers Barbourfields, Mzilikazi, Nguboyenja, Thorngrove Infill including Burombo Flats.
Ndlovu is up against five other candidates who are Loveness Nomsa Ndlovu – Zanu PF, Bekezela Ncube – ZAPU, Tafara Gandare – United Democratic Alliance (UDA), Rosa Ndlovu – MDC Alliance plus three independents namely Taurai Mashizhe, Albert Moyo and Tobias Nyamhlambanje.