HARARE – Zanu-PF secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa has lost his Central Committee bid after failing to garner enough votes to keep his place in the Central Committee in elections held in Makoni district yesterday, following allegations that he was at the forefront of a plot to assassinate President Mugabe.
Mutasa, who is implicated in the plot to assassinate President Mugabe, will now wait to see if the President will appoint him among the 10 members of the Central Committee he is entitled to appoint. One has to be a member of the 245-strong Central Committee to be considered for a post in the Politburo, which is the secretariat of the Central Committee.
In Bulawayo, three Politburo members — Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, Angeline Masuku and Absolom Sikhosana — fell by the wayside after failing to win Central Committee elections. In Manicaland, another Politburo member Munacho Mutezo failed to make it after he also lost the Central Committee elections.
Most of the Politburo members who lost the elections were linked to embattled Vice President Joice Mujuru who had roped them into her bid to topple President Mugabe. In Makoni District, Mutasa polled just 85 votes against Joseph Made (163), Florence Majachani (169), Mandi Chimene (141) and Patrick Chimanasa (177).
Made, Majachani, Chimene and Chinamasa went through since only four candidates were required from the district.In Chimanimani, Mutezo had 39 votes, while his rivals, Joshua Sacco and Esther Chikuni who made it had 59 and 61 votes respectively.Before the elections, Zanu-PF supporters in Chimanimani and Makoni tried to stop Mutasa and Mutezo from contesting, arguing that they were not fit to hold any high posts in the party because of their alleged involvement in the illegal regime change agenda. In Makoni, a primary election had to be held to choose a candidate to represent Headlands after Chris Chingosho had shown interest in the slot.
Although Mutasa won the primary, Chingosho refused to accept the outcome, saying the poll had been rigged. In Zimunya-Marange former Zanu-PF Manicaland provincial chairman Mike Madiro, whose suspension from the party was lifted, was voted as a new Central Committee member together with Chris Mushohwe, Fred Kanzama and Nyasha Chikwinya. In Mutare, transport mogul Isau Mupfumi retained his seat and was joined by academic Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba.
In Nyanga, former legislator Paul Kanzama and Nyanga North National Assembly member Hubert Nyanhongo were voted as the new Central Committee members. In Buhera, Joseph Chinotimba, Saul Nzuma and William Mutomba sailed through, while in Chipinge, Morris Sakabuya, Win Mlambo and John Chirimambowa are the new office holders.
Results from Mutasa were not readily available at the time of going to press. In Bulawayo, Ndlovu contested in Area 3 where former Bulawayo provincial secretary for information and publicity Michael Sikhosana and Joseph Tshuma emerged as winners. Masuku lost in Area 5 where former Ambassador to South Africa Phelekezela Mphoko, who is eying the Zanu-PF second vice presidency, and provincial secretary for finance Charles Chiponda were voted in.
Emmanuel Kanjoma and Politburo members Tshinga Dube and Joshua Malinga also won in Area 1. In Area 4, Absolom Sikhosana lost as former Bulawayo provincial chairperson Killian Sibanda and former Bulawayo Mayor Alderman David Ndlovu were victorious.
In Area 2, Anna Moyo and Godfrey Malaba also made it into the central committee. The 11 victorious Bulawayo province members join Mpehlabayo Malinga, Butholezwe Ngwenya, Sibongile Sibanda and Rosie Phiri who are members of the national youth and women’s’ league for a place in the central committee.
Those who made it on the women’s quota were Violet Ncube, Canisia Satiya, Atilia Mangoye Ebby Dube and Eylyss Nhowedza. Bulawayo provincial affairs minister Eunice Nomthandazo Moyo made it to the central committee by virtue of her election as deputy secretary for women’s affairs at the recent Zanu-PF Women’s’ League conference.
Dr Ndlovu conceded defeat, while Absolom Sikhosana was overheard saying to colleagues: “it happens in politics”. In Matabeleland North, party bigwigs like Politburo members Dr Obert Mpofu, Professor Jonathan Moyo, Cain Mathema, Jacob Mudenda, Thokozile Mathuthu and Sithembiso Nyoni were elected unopposed.
In the Midlands, Politburo members Flora Buka and Francis Nhema, who had been disqualified by the provincial coordinating committee from participating in the Central Committee elections, are now eligible to take part in the poll after the Politburo approved their candidature.
The two had been accused of vote buying and fanning factionalism in the province. The elections, which were last week postponed pending investigations, would be held today in Gokwe North for Buka and Shurugwi for Nhema.
In Gokwe North Flora Buka would be battling it out against Edson Chiherenge, Leonard Chikomba, Timire Kapota, Tariro Mutingwende, Tafuma Pangira and Cephas Sindi, while in Shurugwi Nhema would be competing against Simbanenduku Mumbengegwi, Emmanuel Fundira and Timothy Mhuri.
Zanu-PF Midlands provincial spokesperson, Cornelius Mpereri said Nhema and Buka will participate in today’s elections following the directive from Politburo, while the chairpersons in Shurugwi who were allegedly ferried to Harare for an unsanctioned inter-district meeting by Nhema would also be eligible to vote. Herald