Councillors told NewsDay that Tsvangirai had acted undemocratically and “too early” on the matter.
Though it has not been made official yet, at least until after tonight’s special council meeting called to deal with the appointment, councillors who spoke to NewsDay yesterday said they were shocked to hear the secretary for local government in the MDC-T, Eddie Cross, congratulating Mbanga during a meeting last week for being appointed by Tsvangirai to take up the post.
“We did not know whether to congratulate him or not. The leader has interests in such key positions and it explains why he appointed Mbanga,” said a councillor.
However, mayor Bernard Manyenyeni could not comment on the matter insisting the election of the deputy mayor would be today.
“The appointment will take place tomorrow, that’s what I know,” he said.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka was not immediately available for comment while Cross’ mobile phone went unanswered.
Impeccable sources, however, were certain that Mbanga was Tsvangirai’s “chosen one” and likely to go unchallenged.
Muzuva died less than two weeks ago and was buried at his rural home in Hwedza, Mashonaland East Province.
Meanwhile, Tsvangirai is said to have summoned youths who openly clashed during Muzuva’s funeral and warned them
against causing disturbances in the party.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu could not deny or confirm that Tsvangirai had summoned the youths, but only blamed their actions on alcohol that they had abused on the day.
“You know young people and alcohol especially when they would have taken one too many. It’s not at all a big issue but just excitable youths who have had one too many,” he said.
The party is rocked by internal fights with senior party officials, among them Harare chairman Eric Murayi, saying some people were yet to recover from the congress fights.
Youths openly clashed in front of Tsvangirai and other mourners including his wife Elizabeth and other senior party officials at Muzuva’s burial.