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Bulawayo Mayoral elections postponed: Chaos erupts

Tanaka Mrewa

Chaos continues to mar Bulawayo mayoral and deputy mayoral elections as they were yesterday further postponed to Friday, September 7.

Bulawayo town clerk Christopher Dube said the council postponed the elections after being advised that the large city hall was an illegal and unsafe place to hold the elections.

Speaking to journalists after calling off the elections, Dube said they moved the meeting for transparency little knowing it was illegal.

“The first reason for the movement of this meeting from the city council chambers to the large city hall was illegal. The second reason is we cancelled for security reasons, the large city hall is not safe. So many residents were turned away from the swearing-in ceremony of councillors because of limited space in the council chambers. They then wrote a petition for change of venue.

“We intend to engage all interested stakeholders to only send their chairpersons since the meeting is now being moved back to the chambers. However whether it will go through or not will depend on the person who is legally mandated to chair the meeting who is the Provincial Administrator,” said Dube.

Dube broke the news to an expectant crowd 35 minutes after the time the meeting was supposed to start.

His announcement drew anger from the crowd that had been patiently waiting. Residents who had attended filled up the large city hall including the upper deck.

Angry citizens started singing inside the hall, proceeded outside where they were dancing holding placards demanding “Shona councillors” to go back where they came from.

They only dispersed after Anti-Riot police were dispatched to the scene.

Last week the councillors swearing-in ceremony ended on a chaotic note after Ward 24 councillor Arnold Batirai took his oath using Shona language.

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