Samuel Kadungure Senior Reporter
THREE Zanu-PF parliamentary aspirants who had been axed from contesting in the party’s primary elections slated for this Sunday for various reasons have bounced back as eligible candidates after appealing to the national commissariat.
Cdes Misheck Mataranyika (Makoni South), Albert Nyakuedzwa (Makoni West) and Misheck Mugadza (Mutasa South) have bounced back, turning the race for the constituencies into probably the most fiercely contested for seats in the province.
The decision to eliminate the candidates had demoralised party supporters who accused some old players of manipulating the vetting process to suffocate the new entrants’ democratic space. The move has pacified miffed Zanu-PF supporters who were against imposition of candidates.
Cde Mataranyika, who had been barred on the technicality that his transfer from Harare province to Manicaland came less than 12 months before vetting of candidates, was granted a reprieve on Tuesday after it had been noted that while in Harare, he had served the party at the right level to contest for a parliamentary seat.
He confirmed the development yesterday saying he was on the ground campaigning.
“I was out, but now I am back in the race.
“I am happy that the party leadership has heeded President Mnangagwa’s call to allow the grassroots to choose their own representatives. A candidate should lose in the ballot, not in a meeting,” said Cde Mataranyika.
Zanu-PF supporters and traditional leaders in the constituency had demanded the inclusion of new players that are dynamic, progressive, responsive and sensitive to community needs, challenges and expectations. Cde Mataranyika will battle it out with Cde Happines Nyakuedzwa, Cde Josphine Gandiya, Cdes Jairos Mapungwana, Cde Masimba Chiganze and Cde Innocent Chirambahumwe.
Another candidate Engineer Edward Mukoyi was yesterday still fighting for his readmission.
“I have appealed and I have not received a response, but my other colleague, Misheck Mataranyika was here with Chief Makoni and his case has been resolved,” said Eng Mukoyi.
Cde Nyakuedzwa is already campaigning in Makoni West.
Reasons for his suspension earlier are not known.
“My appeal was successful and I am in the race. My supporters had been demoralised by that decision, and we are happy that the party has acted with wisdom and avoided indirect imposition of candidates. The electorate in Makoni West should vote for a candidate of their choice,” said Cde Nyakuedzwa.
He will square off against 11 other candidates – Cde Joseph Mujati, Brian Chipunza, Louis Chasakara, Jennifani Muswere, Sarapiya Makuyahundi, Nation Madongorere, Peter Zindi, Roland Madondo, Mativenga Mhiripiri, Chengetai Zonke and Romeo Mutsvunguma.
In Mutasa South, Cde Misheck Mugadza is also back on the list. He will fight it out with incumbent Cde Irene Zindi and Cde Shellington Bumbura.
Zanu-PF provincial chairman, Cde Mike Madiro said he was still to receive official communication on the trio’s reinstatement from his superiors.
“Those who had genuine grievances raised them with the national commissar, not us.
“Any such decision is communicated using existing party channels, and I will welcome such a decision,” said Cde Madiro.
Cde Madiro said the primary elections would be held at party district centres, not the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) polling stations.
Cde Madiro said the provincial executive would not be the one running the elections.
“The elections will be run by the national commission, not at our level. We will only be involved to the extent of showing them where a particular centre or village is,” said Cde Madiro.
Provincial commissar, Cde Gift Kagweda said they were having difficulties to enforce joint campaigns by aspiring candidates.
“We have advised them to hold joint campaigns and come up with agreed schedules, but it is difficult to enforce. Practically it is a challenge owing to disparities on resources. Some candidates have more resources than others such that they can deploy and run ahead of others.
“It is difficult for us to monitor, and we are having some who are campaigning at night,” said Cde Kagweda.
Cde Kagweda said the ruling party should gear itself for an outstanding win in all the 26 constituencies in the province.