Protests set to rock Zanu PF as Didymus Mutasa is imposed on Headlands
By Staff Reporter
MUTARE – The Zanu PF Politburo has been furiously attacked by party supporters in Manicaland following its shocking decision to cushion embattled national secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa by barring his rival in the Headlands constituency Christopher Chingosho.
Chingosho, a top civil servant with Woman Affairs ministry, was disqualified on Wednesday by the Zanu PF politburo despite the district, provincial and national election directorates, having recommended him to stand.
Mutasa was the only member of the Zanu PF presidium who was challenged after Zanu PF national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo and Vice President Joice Mujuru sailed through unopposed.
Sources privy to the issue revealed to Nehanda Radio that though fiercely opposed by a faction aligned to Mnangagwa, it took the intervention of President Mugabe, to spare Mutasa, who is also the Presidential Affairs minister, of potential embarrassment.
The electorate in Headlands is fed up with the foul mouthed and care-free geriatric, whose popularity has nose dived. Chingosho had the strong backing of Zanu PF women’s league boss Oppah Muchinguri and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who are fighting with Mutasa over the control of Manicaland.
Mutasa’s challenge by Chingosho instilled confidence in other young turks to battle it out with the old guard that is not willing to release power in Monday’s primary elections.
Chingosho’s campaign trail had destablised Mutasa and those aware of the political gymnastics in Zanu PF were anxiously waiting to see how the party would react.
This was because for decades Mutasa, who has been taunted as the godfather of Manicaland has never been challenged and his word was unquestioned. Anyone in the province who wanted to ascend to power had to get his blessings ever since his predecessor Maurice Nyagumbo died in 1989.
And Chingosho was eventually sacrificed, prompting furious attacks from his sympathizers.
“The era of imposition and god-fatherism in our politics is over; credible candidates should emerge through credible party primaries or by consensus,’’ said a politburo source, adding that the move has sparked wide protests.
In venting their anger, Chingosho’s sympathizers demanded direct primaries to pick their preferred candidate or they will do a bhora musango.
Chingosho’s supporters also attacked the politburo for showing preference for a perennial non-performer at the expense of dynamic young turk capable of changing the face of the constituency.
“We are likely to see the protesters voting against the party if transparency was not observed in the process of picking candidates for electoral office,” added the source.
Party insiders said the imposition of Mutasa by the party, at a time when all other bigwigs in the province were being challenged, could, among other things, lead to political apathy. They stressed that for Zanu PF to win; it has to ensure that candidates emerged through open and transparent party primaries.
“They are not being serious. Why should the electorate accept party candidate who did not emerge either by consensus or through a credible party primary? These are some of the things that fuel political apathy from the electorate.
“Why are we denying the grassroots their cardinal right to elect their own leader? Such actions will breed apathy, which is largely responsible for the emergence of corrupt and bad leaders like Mutasa,” said a politburo source.
Mutasa is yet to breathe a sign of relief yet as he will face his fierce critic and wealthy businessman David Tekeshe, of the MDC-T in the next election.
“I could not have challenged him if I was certain of beating him in the elections. I will be the next MP for Headlands. Mutasa thrives on violence, but he will meet his match. He has failed the people of Headlands, and its high time he must go,” said Tekeshe.