Serious infighting and divisions among MDC-Alliance and MDC-T Harare City councillors over the control of the city has now cascaded to social media where mudslinging is the order of the day.
Yesterday, one of the factions raised false alarm alleging on Twitter that MDC-T Ward 15 councillor Tichaona Mhetu had been arrested at Town House.
The thread on Twitter handle @CoH_TruthnFacts read: “Harare City Ward 15 Councillor Tichaona Mhetu was arrested today at Town House on allegations of extreme corruption. More to follow… One by one they will face justice and the guilty shall rot in jail.”
Another thread also read, “In January 2021 a council meeting to elect ward 15 Clr Tichaona Mhetu as Acting Mayor to replace Clr Mutizwa was aborted due to lack of quorum. The arrest of Clr Mhetu today on corruption allegations explains why the corrupt cartel preferred him instead of Clr Mutizwa.”
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi set the record straight, saying Cllr Mhetu had not been arrested.
Special Anti-Corruption Unit head Mr Tabani Mpofu and Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission spokesperson, Commissioner John Makamure, both said they were not aware of the arrest.
Cllr Mhetu said the rumours were being spread by his foes who wanted to assassinate his character.
“I was never arrested, it is the work of my enemies trying to soil my name,” he said. “It is one of the factions at Town House that is itching for a fight.
“If you read the Twitter thread alleging that l was arrested you can tell that there are other people deliberately being exonerated and among those people, one is behind all this confusion.”
Acting mayor Stewart Mutizwa, who is cited in one of the Twitter messages denied the existence of any factions among councillors.
“I am not aware of any organizational disharmony, there are no councillors who are against each other, I am actually trying to stabilise the council,” he said. “The issue of councillor Mhetu’s arrest is the work of evil doers.
“If you look at the trend, it is the same. It maybe someone simply feeding false information, whistleblowing for no apparent reason.”
Cllr Mutizwa said he suspected some council employees to be behind the social media threads.
“There are officials hiding behind factional fights trying to save their skin because of their inefficiencies, so they deliberately create confusion so that they are spared,” he said. “Also, there are people who want councillors to fear attending council meetings.”