BY MOSES MATENGA/SYDNEY KAWADZA
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa reportedly stepped in to douse factional flames that were threatening to raze Midlands province by blocking rival faction leaders from contesting to ensure his trusted loyalist, Larry Mavima emerges uncontested.
This comes as the party yesterday said all candidates would undergo security vetting, a development which observers said would see many falling by the wayside.
Outgoing chairperson Daniel Mackenzie Ncube and State Security minister Owen Ncube were the main contestants for the Midlands top post with their supporters often clashing.
Their rivalry was threatening to collapse the party in Mnangagwa’s home province, forcing the Zanu PF leader to step in and push for Mavima to take charge.
Mavima told NewsDay yesterday that his immediate task was to unite the province and ensure an emphatic victory in impending by-elections and the 2023 harmonised polls.
“I feel honoured and grateful for the confidence the party has put in me to be chairman of the province and Minister of State as well as Senator for Zvishavane-Shurugwi. My aim is to unite the province and to ensure that Zanu PF wins resoundingly in 2023 and we are going to start off that exercise by winning all the by-elections in the Midlands province,” Mavima said.
Zanu PF national commissar Mike Bimha said names submitted to the politburo were being vetted by the party’s security department.
“They are actually being vetted as we speak. Maybe tomorrow they would have been done but we are not going to announce them as such. We are sending back the names to the provinces after the vetting process. We will also produce ballot papers to be sent to the provinces after the vetting process,” Bimha said.
“They are going through security checks. We don’t even ask why they have dropped so and so because it’s their prerogative.”
Bimha downplayed the violence that marred the run-up to the polls as normal.
“There is nothing to write home about,” Bimha said. “When people are running around campaigning for positions, but there were no reports of violence otherwise we would have disqualified candidates if we had received reports of people fanning violence or carrying people to fight fellow members,” he added.
“As far as we are concerned we don’t have those reports (of violence.) Yes, people jostle for positions but that is competition and that is what it is. It’s actually healthy for the party,” Bimha added.