Mugove Tafirenyika 1 February 2017
HARARE – Another dogfight is brewing in the warring Zanu PF as aspiring
MPs are already campaigning, even in constituencies held by their
colleagues, despite calls by party bigwigs to wait for primary elections.
While under normal circumstances aspiring parliamentary and local
government candidates are supposed to start canvassing for votes after a
directive from the Zanu PF politburo, sitting MPs are already complaining
that party cadres eyeing their constituencies have already hit the ground
Yesterday, Zanu PF secretary for administration, Ignatius Chombo, warned
those who had started campaigning to cease doing so as the party had not
set the criteria for selecting candidates yet.
“Campaigns enable us as politicians to be known and voted for….but for
now, stop it,” he was quoted as saying by the State media.
However, MPs who spoke to the Daily News said the rival Generation 40
(G40) and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Team Lacoste were already
positioning their preferred candidates for each constituency.
“There are comrades who have not heeded calls by the national political
commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, that people should desist from campaigning
in other people’s constituencies and it’s confusing supporters,” Maramba
Pfungwe legislator, Washington Musvaire, complained yesterday.
“Sadly, some of them, especially in my constituency for example Godfrey
Chikono and Kenneth Mutiwekuziva, are provincial executive members yet
they are showing traits of indiscipline, something which the national PC
has been preaching against because it divides the party unnecessarily,” he
“There are also others who include Paul Karimazondo who has been active on
the ground campaigning against me while Chikono uses his position as
administrator in the party constituency office to make sure I am sidelined
from attending important meetings where he advances his interests,”
Musvaire went on.
The elections are important because senators and MPs who would have won
the Zanu PF internal elections stand a good chance of not only being
appointed into Cabinet, but also becoming part of the party’s decision
making organs, the presidium, the politburo and the central committee.
Instead of counting on Mugabe’s benevolence, Zanu PF hawks would want to
secure positions in the bicameral Parliament to enable them to gun for
other senior appointments from there.
While Mugabe singularly appoints members of the politburo and central
committee, the soon-to-be 93 years old is known to draw the bulk of the
appointees from sitting legislators.
Therefore, numerous political careers now hinge on these primaries so much
that tensions are reaching breaking point.
As far as party faithful are concerned, those who shall be elected to
represent the revolutionary party during the next general elections might
become the party’s aspiring next generation of bigwigs.
In other words, these primary elections could be the waterloo for many
because the results will roughly indicate the `Who is who’ in the party’s
next generation of political power brokers.
So bad is the situation that Kasukuwere was forced to announce last week
that Zanu PF had not yet directed aspiring candidates to campaign.
“Some people are already moving into consistencies where there are
incumbents with some freebies campaigning. Please stop that,” Kasukuwere
“You will be told when the time to campaign comes. The incumbents are
still there, so please support them, don’t disturb them”.
Some of the incumbent legislators in Mashonaland East Province, who have
fallen victim to the pre-mature campaigns, include Simbaneuta Mudarikwa
whose Uzumba constituency is being reportedly eyed by Jerry Gotora, Joseph
Kandemiri and one Gwashavanhu.
In Marondera West, Provincial minister Ambrose Mutinhiri is under pressure
from Foster Gwanzura and Spiwe Mukunyaidze while Chikomba Central’s Felix
Mhona is under threat from provincial chairperson Bernard Makokove, who is
allegedly campaigning in the constituency.
On the other hand, Muzarabani South’s Christopher Chitindi is battling
with Tapera Size, while Shamva South MP, Joseph Mapiki risks losing his
constituency to either Sydney Chiwara or one Nyamadzawo.
In Masvingo, businessman-cum-musician Energy Mutodi is said to be giving
provincial political commissar, Jeppy Jaboon, sleepless nights over Bikita
South constituency while former deputy Health minister Paul Chimedza’s
position in Gutu South is under threat form Noel Mandebvu.