via Zanu PF succession: Mujuru secures Midlands, Mnangagwa bags Manicaland ZimbabweMail 3 November 2013
Incumbent Zanu PF Midlands Provincial Chairman, Jason Machaya who is loyal to Vice-President Joyce Mujuru’s faction has retained the chairmanship in a closely contested election as succession battle to succeed Mugabe shape up to the finale.
Machaya garnered 18 183 votes whiled Mnangagwa’s sponsored cadnidate Larry Mavhima had 13 280 votes.
Vice-President Joyce Mujuru’s camp, which is in a long-running battle with the Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa faction to succeed Mugabe has surprisingly won in the back yard of its bitter rival.
Zanu PF Political Commissar for Women’s League, Dr Olivia Muchena who also co-ordinated the election said she was satisfied with the process.
Zanu PF Secretary for Information and Publicity, Rugare Gumbo said the internal election process shows that Zanu PF is a democratic party that respects independent processes.
Meanwhile, Tanaka Mageza landed the provincial youth chairmanship post after Edward Samambwa was disqualified.
Elina Shirichena retained the provincial women’s league chairmanship uncontested.
In Manicaland, Ambassador John Mvundura has been elected the Zanu PF Manicaland provincial chairman.
Mnangagwa supervised provincial elections in Manicaland where his close ally Chimanimani senator Monica Mutsvangwa withdrew from the race against John Mvundura citing irregularities.
He clinched 18 453 votes beating Monica Mutsvangwa who got 7 170 votes.
In the women’s league, Joyline Porusingazi was re-elected chairperson while Kelvin Manyengavana was elected youth league chairman.
Provincial elections were supposed to be held in Mashonaland West — Mugabe’s home province — but were moved after allegations of vote-buying.
After Mujuru successfully lobbied Mugabe, it was agreed elections could be held in Manicaland and the Midlands, where chaotic scenes engulfed the internal polls which saw results being delayed by for days.
“Mujuru alleged that her rival, Mnangagwa’s faction, was vote-buying and asked Mugabe to postpone the elections until a later date when the chaos around the provinces had been resolved,” said the source.
“There was commotion in the provinces as factions were fighting for space to make sure their allies win influential posts ahead of the elective congress next year.”
Mujuru influenced the dissolution of district co-ordinating committees (DCCs) after alleging the Mnangagwa camp was fuelling intra-party divisions. This was after the Mnangagwa camp had reportedly won most of the DCCs, paving the way for him to take control of the provinces.
Those interested in the influential chairmanship include Mujuru’s ally and businessman Temba Mliswa, war veteran Blessing Geza Runesu, businessman Phillip Chiyangwa, John Mafa and Colonel Beta Guveya.
The fight between Mujuru and Mnangagwa has intensified ahead of the provincial executive elections because the structures will play a pivotal role in choosing members of the presidium at the December 2014 elective congress. A candidate for any of the presidium posts — president, two vice-presidents and chairperson — needs the endorsement of six out of the 10 provinces to win.
The Mnangagwa faction is eyeing seven provinces, which will ensure the minister is nominated first vice-president ahead of Mujuru at the 2014 congress. That would ensure he takes over from Mugabe who is unlikely to contest the 2018 elections due to old age and poor health.