By Nhau Mangirazi
MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa protegee Wilson Makanyaire suffered a humiliating defeat to Raphael Magunje in the Mashonaland West provincial elections on Friday in Chinhoyi.
He lost by a wide margin and managed to get 190 votes while Magunje garnered over 600 votes in a landslide victory.Makanyire is famed as the man who crafted a dismissal letter to ‘suspend’ a potential contestant for provincial chairmanship.
The provincial elections were held around 3 am on Friday morning and were headlined by chaos that saw some Chinhoyi members leaving the venue without casting votes.
Party insiders who were against the duo were taken aback when the favourite Gift Konjani was suspended a few weeks before the elections.
Both Magunje and Makanyaire are believed to be in Chamisa’s camp while Konjani is believed to be in Douglas Mwonzora’s camp, according to party insiders.
Konjani confirmed that he was handed the letter of suspension as a move aimed at barring him from contesting.
In a telephone interview with Zim Morning Post, he said he was ‘forced’ out of the provincial elections through ‘frivolous allegations’ aimed at tarnishing his image politically.
“Makanyaire crafted the suspension letter so that it could pave way for him as he wanted to square it off with Magunje. He did this because both of them saw me as a threat and he believed he stood a better chance than me. The allegations were frivolous and unfounded but it was aimed at shutting me out,’ he said.
Makanyaire who took over the provincial position when Chamisa outsmarted Engineer Elias Mudzuri has been a perennial loser in Hurungwe West after he ‘wrestled’ the position from Severino Tall Chambati in Hurungwe West.
He also lost to Temba Mliswa when he was still in Zanu PF and later to sitting MP and provincial resident minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka during the 2018 harmonised elections.
Meanwhile, the victor Magunje defended the party’s position to suspend Konjani.
“Konjani had long-standing allegations of putting the name of the party into disrepute through inciting factionalism. He was behind the violence in Chegutu West and has been acting against national leadership. He also ordered Chegutu councillors to defy national resolutions and he was suspended for that,” said Magunje.
He, however, confirmed that although he said his contesting against Makanyaire was not a reflection of bad blood between them.
“This was a game of numbers that he failed. “Unfortunately, Makanyaire’s bid to be seconded to national organising committee did not get support, he is out of leadership but as party we will not dump him. We will see how we will integrate him within the system,’ said Magunje.
Makanyaire did not respond to text messages send to his mobile phone at the time of writing.
MDC Alliance has suffered internal divisions where Chamisa is believed to feel threatened by Mwonzora ahead of the party’’s elective congress due in May.
Some grassroots members aligned to Mwonzora have been purged. Zimmorningpost