BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
Zanu PF bigwigs in Mashonaland East are keeping their cards close to their chest as the race to elect a new provincial leadership intensifies.
The provincial chairpersonship is vacant following the death of Joel Biggie Matiza with his deputy, Michael Madanha currently acting as boss.
Despite names of candidates in other provinces having been released, with some of them canvassing for support towards the forthcoming elections, in Mashonaland East, it is a different case as candidates took long to come forward. The ruling party is set to hold its annual conference late this year after the provincial restructuring exercise.
Murewa South legislator Herbert Shumbamhini is interested in assuming the provincial reins.
Shumbamhini, a renowned farmer, is also the current provincial political commissar.
NewsDay is reliably informed that provincial youth league boss Kelvin Mutsvairo is weighing his options to contest for the top post, while a section of party supporters is reportedly pushing Uzumba legislator Simbaneuta Mudarikwa to lead them.
Madanha is also reportedly eyeing the provincial chairmanship.
Provincial secretary for administration Kudzai Majuru yesterday said they were yet to receive information from higher offices on when the provincial elections would be held.
“The time is not yet ripe for that (campaigning). We haven’t received a circular to that effect from provincial offices,” he said.
The late Matiza defeated Edgar Mbwembwe in the last election. Mbwembwe reportedly belonged to the G40 Zanu PF faction which was aligned to the late former President Robert Mugabe.
Matiza, however, was chucked out of office by the G40 faction over his support for then Vice- President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Lacoste faction.
He was replaced by Bernard Makokove from Chikomba before bouncing back following Mnangagwa’s ascendancy to power.