BY STAFF REPORTER
THE race for the Zanu PF Manicaland provincial chairmanship has intensified, with aspiring candidates holding secret campaigns ahead of the elections to be held in a few weeks’ time.
Transport deputy minister Mike Madiro, the current Manicaland provincial chairman, is reportedly vying to retain the post, but will face stiff competition from Makoni district co-ordination committee (DCC) chairperson Albert Nyakuedzwa, who seems to be popular with party structures.
Others candidates who are reportedly vying for the post are Chipinge South MP Enoch Porusingazi and Information Communication Technology minister Jenfan Muswere.
However, most people in the province, who spoke to NewsDay, touted Madiro and Nyakuedzwa as the main contenders.
Nyakuedzwa is the longest serving DCC chairperson in Manicaland province after serving all the terms since the inception of the structures that were disbanded by the late former President Robert Mugabe in 2012 before President Emmerson Mnangagwa reintroduced them last year.
He pulled a shocker after he defeated Zanu PF Makoni South MP Misheck Mataranyika for the DCC chairperson election by a wide margin despite the latter being strong financially.
Mataranyika, who is a reputable lawyer, is brother to Nyaradzo Group boss, Phillip Mataranyika.
In the DCC elections, Nyakuedzwa also defeated former Zanu PF provincial vice-chairperson Joseph Mujati.
“Madiro might be on his way out because he now has few sympathisers. He is accused of failing to unite the province. There is no way he is going to win in Mutare because of the divisions,” said a Zanu PF senior official who preferred anonymity.
“I think Nyakuedzwa is more popular. He has managed to unite the Makoni district in a short period after winning in the DCC elections and remember, this is one of the biggest districts in Manicaland province.
Recently, Zanu PF acting political commissar Patrick Chinamasa said there were divisions in Chipinge, Nyanga and Mutare.
Chinamasa told a developmental meeting in Rusape recently that other districts should emulate Makoni district, a statement taken by Nyakuedzwa’s backers as endorsement of the DCC chairman.
Zanu PF Manicaland political commissar Gift Kagweda was not immediately available for comment.