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Fierce jockeying in Zanu PF to lead Manicaland Provincial Council

By Tatenda Mabasa | Nehanda Mutare Bureau |

MUTARE –As Manicaland awaits Zanu PF to elect the chairperson of the newly constituted provincial council, politicians enthusiastic to occupy the post have reportedly started scheming and some are seeking the endorsement of Zanu PF godfather Didymus Mutasa.

Furious Didymus Mutasa addresses those gathered at his 78th birthday celebrations
Furious Didymus Mutasa addresses those gathered at his 78th birthday celebrations where he slammed Zanu PF MP’s who boycotted.

The race for the Manicaland Provincial Council chairmanship has seen the Mujuru faction, fronted by Mutasa, rooting for ex-Mutare South MP Fred Kanzama. We understand Kanzama is already spoiling Mutasa to land the powerful post.

However, Nehanda Radio understands the Mnangagwa faction – which controls Manicaland, is opposed to moves to pluck Kanzama from political oblivion and is rallying its MPs and loyalists in the council against his candidature.

The Mnangagwa faction – led by Oppah Muchinguri and Patrick Chinamasa is reportedly working hand-in-glove with the MDC-T to scout a candidate who will not be arm-twisted by Mutasa and Kanzama is not among them.

Information gleaned by Nehanda Radio shows though Kanzama, who lost Mutare South to MP-elect Nyasha Chikwinya, is academically lamed, making him unfit for the demanding job.

Kanzama, a close ally of Vice President Joice Mujuru, has been shuttling to and from Mutasa’s residence – famously known as Pagomo – pleading for Mutasa to overlook his intellectual faults and endorse him.

Kanzama is also abusing his close links to provincial chairman John Mvundura to convince Mutasa. Kanzama is Mvundura’s nephew and his political master. Mvundura said his party has no clue yet on the way forward.

He was quoted in the State weekly The Manica Post saying:

“We are not rushing and the party shall give an instruction on what to do. There is no need to press the panic button as we are still mourning (Kangai). I think we will be seized with the matter after the burial, and this is if the party gives an instruction.”

He added: “I have not been given the list of potential candidates or been approached by anyone declaring their interest in the post. If there are names that are already being taunted, then it is outside the party realm as nobody has been instructed to recruit potential candidates for the post of provincial council chairperson. If there are people that are scheming and canvassing, then they are doing so as individuals but in the end it is the party leadership that will dictate,” said Ambassador Mvundura.

And despite claims by Mvundura, his nephew Kanzama was openly campaigning for the post, including pestering Mutasa.

“I have not been approached by anyone or approached anyone for the job. However, if the party selects me, I will welcome the opportunity to carry out the assigned job. That is why I chose to be a politician under Zanu PF; it is all about heeding its call to carry out specific responsibilities and tasks. If the party settles for me, I will be there to take up the challenge and implement its policies,” said Kanzama.

A source from the Mnangagwa faction said: “The Mujuru faction is rooting for Kanzama, and this is the position they adopted at Mutasa’s birthday and victory celebrations in Headlands, last month.

“Kanzama is a non-starter, he is daft, and how can he hold such an administrative post. He will not land the post. Remember Mujuru loyalists are a minority. We are scouting for a much appealing candidate to sponsor,” said the source.

Kanzama and another candidate vying for the job – former Nyanga MP Paul Kadzima – are not qualified as they are not Ordinary Level certificate holders. This leaves academic and war veteran Nation Madongorere a favourite.

Madongorere’s undoing is his battered reputation as a “womanizer and an alcoholic.” Madongorere was two years ago accused of raping a minor before engaging her parents for an out of court settlement. He also lacks political clout and is a sworn enemy of Mutasa.

Madongorere holds a Master of Business Administration from St. John’s University, New York, USA.

“I am interested and have shared that position with colleagues in the party and I strongly feel that I possess the necessary qualifications for the job. If called upon to serve in the office of Manicaland Provincial Council Chairman, I am ready for the task,” Madongorere, was quoted as having said.

Apart from that, it was also gathered that the womenfolk within the Zanu PF have embarked on a campaign of gender appeal, stressing that a woman should be appointed.

Only two nominees are provided for in the new constitution, which says that the party with the highest number of seats – which is Zanu PF in Manicaland’s case – will nominate the chair from two qualified candidates forwarded for election at the first seating of the council.