via Mnangagwa reclaims Midlands control 17/11/2014
A FACTION of the ruling Zanu PF party fronted by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has taken charge of nominations for central committee positions at the party’s December congress.
Most of the members were nominated unopposed.
Zanu PF internal electoral returns from Midlands districts among them Gweru, Zvishavane, Gokwe South, Mvuma and Kwekwe showed that the Mnangagwa camp had made a clean sweep.
The results mean the Mnangagwa camp has broken Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s longstanding stranglehold on the party structures.
The elections were however temporarily suspended in Shurugwi and Gokwe North amid reports rival factions were working on a series of no-confidence votes that would depose among other party stalwarts women’s league administration secretary Flora Bhuka.
The Midlands polls came as Zanu PF is in turmoil following a purge of cadres loyal to Mujuru.
Midlands provincial chairman, Jason Machaya, is among those who have been booted out. He was replaced by Kizito Chivamba, a Mnangagwa loyalist.
Among those nominated for the central committee are Melody Dziva, Wellington Magura and Mathulisa Rain from Gweru, from Gokwe South, Victor Matemadanda (newly elected war veterans secretary general) and Silas Mutendi came through along with Dorcas Maphoshere and Tambayi Masuka.
In Chirumanzi (Mvuma) Max Zvidzai and Piki Saviors were nominated. In Kwekwe it was Mnangagwa, Daniel Mackenzi Ncube and Douglas Tapfuma.
The situation repeated itself in Zvishavane with former MP, Larry Mavhima, and Gregory Mataka being nominated uncontested as Mujuru’s faction virtually capitulated under the weight of a media and political onslaught fronted by First Lady Grace Mugabe.
The Mujuru camp is on the ropes as senior party officials have been suspended for allegedly plotting to oust President Robert Mugabe from power.
But the biggest casualty has been Zanu PF spokesman, Rugare Gumbo, who was suspended from the party for five years last week.
Sithembiso Nyoni, a cabinet minister and Zanu PF politburo member in charge of business development and liaison, said the Midlands polls were the “most peaceful elections ever”.
“This was the most orderly and peacefully election I have monitored, candidates were united and people voted fairly and they came in their big numbers as per their districts, this was wonderful.
“The election was exciting mainly to see young people taking posts into the central committee. It is a message to other youths in the country that it is possible to rise in politics,” she said.
Mnangagwa’s chief strategist, July Moyo, returned to the country’s political top-table after a decade-long forced sabbatical.
He will be joined in the Central Committee by Joram Gumbo, Ben Mataga and Godwill Shiri.
Control of the central committee will be crucial as the Zanu PF constitution is undergoing major changes that will factor in the transition mechanism in the party’s governance charter.
Mugabe will also likely be allowed to pick senior leaders to the Zanu PF politburo from the central committee representatives.