Samuel Kadungure Senior Reporter
THE expulsion from Zanu-PF and recalling from Parliament of Cdes Mandi Chimene (Makoni South) and Kudzi Chipanga (Makoni West) on Tuesday has triggered a battle for political supremacy among members keen to babysit the orphaned constituencies.
A Zanu-PF Extraordinary Central Committee held a fortnight ago recommended the expulsion of several cadres and Zanu-PF secretary for legal Affairs, Cde Patrick Chinamasa, on Tuesday formally informed the August House that the two, alongside Dr Ignatius Chombo (Zvimba North), Saviour Kasukuwere (Mt Darwin South) and Professor Jonathan Moyo (Tsholotsho North) no longer represented its interests.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission will not conduct by-elections for the orphaned constituencies in line with Section 158 (3) of the Constitution which reads:
“Polling in by-election to Parliament and local authorities must take place within 90 days after the vacancies occurred unless the vacancies occur within nine months before a general election is due to be held in which event the vacancies may remain unfilled until the general election.”
Instead, Zanu-PF will replace them with shadow MPs who will assist with party programmes and activities until next year’s harmonised elections. In Makoni South, the battle for supremacy will be fought between — Cde Happiness Mafuratidze-Nyakuedzwa, Cde Stanley Mbawa and Councillor Edward Mukoyi.
Before Chimene’s humiliating fall from grace, Cde Nyakuedzwa and Cllr Mukoyi have been conducting activities and initiating developmental projects to make them relevant and earn the respect of every voter in the constituency.
A titanic battle will be fought in Makoni West where Cdes Albert Nyakuedzwa, Colonel Sarapiya Makuyahundi, Joseph Mujati, Lucia Chitura, Betty Benge and Nation Madongorere are touted as front runners.
Although Zanu-PF provincial chairperson, Cde Mike Madiro, warned party cadres against premature shenanigans to babysit the two vacant constituencies, The Manica Post has it on good authority that serious jockeying for the posts is already underway.
“We do not want to rush things as this will confuse our supporters. We need to build the party vote first, after which the individual vote should follow,” said Cde Madiro.
“Our position is that all Zanu-PF programmes and activities in Makoni West and Makoni South will be led by provincial leaders of the three wings, together with Central Committee and Politburo members from Makoni. These are the people mandated by the party to provide cover for our people in the two constituencies,” said Cde Madiro.
“We are calling for unity of purpose from among the party leadership because there is a potential hazard where individuals rush to campaign and confuse the electorate. They should desist from campaigning until further instructions because the party is seized with key programmes such as the summer cropping and the ongoing voter registration exercise,” said Cde Madiro.
He called on the party functionaries in Makoni to pick up the pieces following recent party and Government earthquakes. He challenged them to revisit the formula that made Zanu-PF the party of choice since independence.
Cde Madiro said the mere fact that Zanu-PF remains the ruling party since independence demonstrates that the values and beliefs of the party resonate with the majority.
“This tide should see the party growing with the support of all,” said Cde Madiro.