Thursday, 4 August 2016


ZANU-PF mandarins are reportedly burning the midnight candle plotting against former Hurungwe East legislator, Temba Mliswa, who sprang a surprise last week by declaring his interests in contesting the Norton National Assembly seat.

Mliswa is seeking a second spell in the august House, eyeing the seat which fell vacant following the expulsion of controversial war veterans’ leader, Chris Mutsvangwa.
Mutsvangwa lost the seat after he was expelled from the ruling party by ZANU-PF’s Politburo last month.

He was subsequently expelled from Parliament, necessitating a by-election to replace him.
ZANU-PF has previously adopted a soft approach to by-elections in which it posted easy victories, mainly owing to the fact that its main electoral challenger – the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) – is boycotting the polls citing an uneven electoral field.

However, the party has now been forced to put its thinking cap on following Mliswa’s sudden announcement on Tuesday last week.

The ZANU-PF Mashonaland West Provincial coordinating committee (PCC) was reportedly critical of all party cadres who had submitted applications to contest the ruling party’s primaries at a meeting where applications from interested cadres were evaluated in Chinhoyi on Saturday.

Sources who attended the meeting said the provincial leadership was worried that none of the nine successful applicants matched Mliswa’s drive.

The sources said considerations were being made to smuggle former Zvimba East legislator and Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, Patrick Zhuwao, into the race.
Zhuwao was not one of the nine candidates, who will battle it out in the ZANU-PF primary election namely: Ronald Chindedza, Margaret Zvinavashe, Bybit Tsomondo, Joyce Marufu Mukazhi, Simon Sibindi, Langton Mutendereki, Nyarai Makamba, Flavian Charumbira and Godfrey Chikowore.

A source said ZANU-PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman, Ephraim Chengeta, was highly critical of the ruling party’s candidates.

Chengeta could not be reached for comment. “At the end of the nomination process, Comrade Chengeta said the party will have to work extra hard in campaigning because Mliswa posed a serious threat,” said one of the PCC members.

“Remember last year we had to direct all our efforts to Hurungwe West to wrest the seat from Mliswa and still won narrowly despite having a better standing candidate. It is clear Mliswa is no pushover,” added the ZANU-PF official.

Another official said: “Now that Temba comes on stage, certainly ZANU-PF has to raise its bar to his level.”
The factional divisions rocking ZANU-PF, said party officials, could work in Mliswa’s favour with the faction that fails to field its candidate likely to throw its weight behind him.

ZANU-PF is currently split between two distinct camps namely Team Lacoste and Generation 40 (G40) which are battling for the right to field a successor for President Robert Mugabe. financial gazette


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