By Tatenda Mabasa | Mutare Bureau |
MUTARE – Disgruntled Zanu PF and MDC-T cadres in Manicaland took their rebellion to the Nomination Court which sat yesterday and filed their nomination papers to stand as sovereign candidates – amid indications that such moves have the propensity to split the vote in favour of the party with a single nominee.
Another surprise was that former finance minister Dr Simba Makoni , who on Thursday announced his withdrawal from the presidential race to support of MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai, filled his nomination papers to contest in Makoni Central under the ticket of his Mavambo/Dawn/Kusile.
The former Zanu PF politburo member and founder president of MDK Makoni’s first aim at Makoni Central was in 2008 – but thwarted by the now embattled Zanu PF politburo member and Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, who then parceled it to Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa who later lost it the late MDC-T MP John Nyamande.
Makoni hails from the Rugoyi area, which is the heartbeat of his Nyati. Makoni, whose papers were filed by MDK official Mr George Hukuimwe, will square against Chinamasa and incarcerated MDC-T official Patrick Sagandira.
Chinamasa scored another victory after ZEC provincial head Retired Colonel Moffat Masabeya refused to entertain a desperate request by Mutasa and his trounced side-kick Basil Nyabadza to interdict the electoral body from accepting Chinamasa’s nomination papers because they were disputing results of the intra-party poll he won.
As Nehanda Radio revealed Thursday Women Affairs director Christopher Chingosho, whom Zanu PF politburo barred from contesting its geriatric and beleaguered national secretary for administration Mutasa stung the party by filing his papers to stand in Headlands.
Mutasa, an infamous and notorious merchant of violence, was left wetting his pants as for decades, the self-taunting 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.
Chingosho, who was escorted by hordes of fed-up war veterans furiously vowed that the era of imposition of and god-fatherism was over, left Mutasa knee-weak as he is the only member of the Zanu PF presidium who was contested after national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo and Vice President Joice Mujuru sailed through without rebellion.
The war veterans vowed to tussle Mutasa because “he did not emerge through credible party primaries or by consensus.”
The bhora musango protagonists were offended by party’s preference for Mutasa, who they regard “as a perennial non-performer; bad and corrupt leader.”
Chingosho’s supporters, who hold key positions and wield strong influence throughout the constituency, ruled out Mutasa’s chances, arguing that Zanu PF will only taste power in the constituency if it fields a candidate that emerges through an open and transparent party primary election.
Chingosho’s entry has buoyed the prospects of victory for MDC-T’s candidate David Tekeshe, who was seen shaking hands and embracing other Zanu PF rebels including suspended Zanu PF Manicaland chairman Mike Madiro, who is standing as an sovereign candidate in the orphaned Mutare North and his deputy Dorothy Mabika, who is standing in Chipinge Central, where her mother and incumbent legislator Alice Chitima lost fraudulent Zanu PF primaries to Raymond Machingura.
This shows that the rebellion was well orchestrated to frustrate Mutasa by his nemesis’ Oppah Muchinguri, former CIO supremo Shadreck Chipanga and Chinamasa, who nicodemously wines and dine with the trio and is entangled in a bitter war against Mutasa over the control of Manicaland.
Muchinguri, Chipanga and Chinamasa have tilted the fulcrum of power in Manicaland to their corner and have calculatively used Chingosho’s rebelion to mute Mutasa. Madiro and Mabika, who were recently acquitted of stock-theft charges pressed by Mutasa, the former had unkind words for Mutasa.
“He is too old. Zanu PF has no future with such people. Apera mudhara uye. Tarisai muone kudhonha kwaari kuita. He is gone and finished ende rwendo runo tinopedzerana, anobata chitsvuku,” said Madiro, hinting at the possibility of a grand coalition to de-campaign the clean-shaven but vicious politician in Headlands.
Former Daily News and Manica Post Editor Geoff Nyarota broke ranks with the MDC-T after filing his nomination papers to stand as an independent candidate in Makoni South, setting the stage for a brutal second round bout against incumbent MDC-T MP Pishai Muchauraya and Zanu PF’s Manditawepi Chimene.
Chimene almost found herself in the same predicament had it not been Central Intelligence Operatives’ who swiftly reacted to intercept and dissuade Nathaniel Punish Mhiripiri from lodging his papers.
Another MDC-T influential and civil society official Regai Tsunga also defied the party’s elections principles and lodged his papers to stand as an independent candidate in Mutasa South – where he will come head-to-head against former Mutare Mayor Misheck Kagurabadza, who he was barred from contesting on the grounds that he organized a golf tourney in honour of President Mugabe and Irene Zindi of Zanu PF.
In Chikanga-Dangamvura constituency, the MDC-T had twin candidates Giles Mutsekwa and lawyer Anold Tsunga.