Mugove Tafirenyika 8 June 2017
HARARE – Zanu PF bigwigs’ political careers are hanging by a thread after
the ruling party declared that it will subject them to primary elections
ahead of next year’s key elections.
In previous elections, Zanu PF chefs in the politburo and central
committee were shielded from contest on account of their seniority.
But with President Robert Mugabe desperate to win the youth vote, Zanu PF
has broken with tradition to open bigwigs to contest by youths.
Harare provincial youth league chairperson Edson Takataka told the Daily
News yesterday that youths in the capital were enthusiastic about the
development and were raring to go.
“It’s now a matter of public record in the party that the only person who
will not be contested is the president and like you heard from our
national youth league secretary (Kudzanai Chipanga), we welcome this
opportunity and there is a lot of enthusiasm amongst the youths especially
here in Harare,” Takataka said, adding that “we are now waiting for the
party to officially announce that those interested can start canvassing
Manicaland youth chairperson Mubuso Chinguno said he would want to see
more youths becoming MPs and councillors “seeing that currently the only
youth we have as an MP is Chipanga”.
“When the time comes, that is after the commissariat department has
furnished us with requirements for one to be MP or councillor, we will go
out there and encourage our colleagues to seek positions so they can
become parliamentary portfolio committee chairpersons, council
chairpersons and so on,” Chinguno said.
“That way, we can be able to have representation at the decision-making
level of government and local authorities so that our issues as youths are
well articulated by people who understand them.”
Party insiders said in Mashonaland Central for example, it is already
dog-eat-dog, with bigwigs even challenging each other.
Rushinga legislator Wonder Mashange is allegedly on the ropes as Primary
and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora moves to reclaim his
former constituency before he was consumed by factional fights which
linked him to former vice president Joice Mujuru’s camp.
“Remember he is a non-constituency MP and he does not want his political
life to be dependent on the president’s benevolence, hence he has since
started to work with the communities, visiting them after every month
since the beginning of this year,” a regional source said.
Both Mashange and Dokora were not taking calls when efforts to get their
comments were made.
Among the aspiring MPs who have become more visible in constituencies than
the incumbents are Charles Chikaura (Bindura South), Tongai Kasukuwere
(Bindura North) as well as one Chasasa (Mbire) and the other one only
identified as Size who is gunning for the Muzarabani North constituency.
The four constituencies are represented by Remigious Matangira, Kenneth
Musanhi, Douglas Karoro and Alfred Mafunga, respectively.
In Mashonaland East, Jeremiah Chiwetu is reportedly under pressure from
Marondera Rural District Council chairperson Patrick Chidhakwa who is
alleged to be eyeing his constituency.
“The man has been on the ground since last year and this year he is
sponsoring local football teams as he prepares his parliamentary bid
although at the moment he is hiding behind the fact that he is council
chairperson, but the truth is that Chiwetu is having sleepless nights,”
Patrick Chirandu, a resident in the constituency said.