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Top Contenders For Zanu PF Mash West Chair Defy Chinamasa




BY JAMES MUONWA

TWO top contenders for the Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairmanship, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka and Vengai Musengi, have given the party's acting national commissar Patrick Chinamasa' s ban on electioneering the middle finger as they launch dog-eat-dog political campaigns.

The pair has embarked on campaigns on social media, moves which are a blatant disregard of Chinamasa's earlier decree for prospective candidates to stop canvassing for votes ahead of the provincial polls that will usher in a new leadership in all the party's wings.

Mliswa-Chikoka, who is the serving Mashonaland West Provincial Minister, is banking on the women's vote to grab the position, while Musengi fancies himself the favourite counting on his tested loyalty to the party and experience, ahead of his chief opponent.

This week, the former revolutionary party warned members against jostling for provincial positions, but to wait for the green light after guidelines for eligibility are set.

The ongoing restructuring exercise has witnessed clashes among Zanu PF members as factionalism takes root.

The state media reported today that Zanu PF Administration secretary, Obert Mpofu had raised a red flag over the divisive conduct of some aspiring candidates.

Mpofu was quoted having said, "We have received some reports that people have already started campaigning for positions, which is against the party ethos. We have not launched or directed those aspiring to campaign for positions. It’s not a campaign programme but a restructuring exercise,” he said.

“We are advising the comrades who are involved in that kind of behaviour to desist from such acts. The acting political commissar (Chinamasa) will be issuing a circular soon directing them to stop campaigning for any position."

Added Mpofu, "We have not reached that position and when we reach that position we will advise our members accordingly, that such and such positions are available for campaign. This will also be followed by the dissolution of provincial structures, and that has not been done."

His cautionary statement came in the wake of a show of total defiance by Mliswa-Chikoka and Musengi to stop campaigns as the two arch rivals roll up their sleeves for a bruising fight to replace Justice minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi who was promoted to the Zanu PF Politburo, recently.

A post by one of Mliswa-Chikoka's campaign team members reads, "I believe in the honest, transparent, dedicated, proactive, hands-on, intelligent and cultured leadership of Hon Minister Mary Mliswa. I have the privilege of serving at her feet and I know Mash Best will be uplifted to have her as the Provincial Chairman.Eversince her appointment, vamira muprovince muno vachikakata basa zvinofadza, zvinoshamisa, zvakarongeka uye zvikuru zvinobata hupenyu hwevanhu.

"Pose pavanosvika vanodyara mbeu yerudo, vanosiya kudziyirwa, uye vanopa tariro. Mavari tine simbi inokakata, simbi yevanhu, simbi inotumika.

"Kuridziro yangu ndeye kuti dai tasarudza Masigede ko ndivo ka MasiBest vedu ka. Let's make history Mashonaland West and have the first Provincial Chairman ari mudzimai.

Madzimai woye, maYouths woye, Mary woye"

Not to be outdone, Musengi enlisted the services of a shrewd video editor who produced a short, but very innovative, political campaign jingle.

In the 36-seconds long video, Musengi also parades his loyalists, Tapiwa Masenda and Josephine Shava, who are gunning for Youth League and Women's League chair posts, respectively.

According to sources within the party, another dark horse for the main board's provincial chairmanship is former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) chief executive officer, Happison Muchechetere, who, should he throw his hat in the ring, would be no push over riding on the liberation war veterans vote.

Muchechetere is incumbent provincial chair of the recently-established Zanu PF Veterans of the Liberation Struggle League (ZVLSL), which has a large membership base. 

The acting Zanu PF Mashonaland West, Abia Mujere is also reportedly toying with the idea of contesting to land the post on a substantive basis.


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