via Zanu PF Mash East defies Mugabe – DailyNews Live 10 December 2014 by Lloyd Mbiba
HARARE – Mashonaland East province yesterday defied President Robert Mugabe as it retained faith in three government ministers whom the 90-year-old leader wanted axed.
At the just-ended “praise and worship” Zanu PF congress, the Zanu PF leader instructed the province to convene special elections to weed out Vice President Joice Mujuru’s perceived allies.
However, Phineas Chihota, the acting provincial chairperson, told the Daily News that Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, his Health counterpart David Parirenyatwa and Paddy Zhanda had all won in their respective districts.
But Joel Biggie Matiza, believed to be Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ally and lynchpin of the new order, had fallen by the way side and lost his central committee seat.
“The elections were professionally conducted and I am a happy man. They were above board and everyone is happy with the outcome,” Chihota said.
Asked if the elections removed former provincial chairperson Ray Kaukonde’s people as demanded by Mugabe, he said: “The people are the ones who voted and not me. Although I have some things that I am not happy with, it was what the people want.
“I would want to meet the president and get a clear picture of what we are supposed to do. But as it is, the people have voted for the people they want and there is nothing that we can do.”
In his closing remarks, Mugabe said he had received a note from his wife Grace alleging that Kaukonde’s people had worked their way into the central committee and thus ordering a rerun of elections.
“We want leaders who are voted for by the people not imposed. Go and organise yourselves and provide us with a new list. It has to be before Wednesday because we want to choose members of the politburo,” the Zanu PF strongman said.
It was in this light that the province held the elections yesterday, but the vast province overwhelmingly voted in favour of the embattled trio and many others.
Sekeramayi, in particular, who was the most senior politburo member in the province, was accused of failing to rein in Kaukonde who was accused of sponsoring factional activities and pursuing Mujuru’s ambitions.
Analysts said yesterday that the vote had not only debunked Mugabe’s twisted pronouncements, but clearly showed the people’s decision in that province and outside the motoring tycoon’s leadership.
The State media also alleges that Sekeramayi’s “culpability” was made worse by the fact that he was the politburo’s security secretary and ensuring that Mugabe’s was not threatened “but apparently did nothing to alert the politburo about the sinister plots happening right under his nose, leading many to conclude he was party to the Mujuru camp.”