MUTARE — A Zanu PF faction loyal to Vice-President Joice Mujuru has gained an upper hand in Manicaland province after several candidates aligned to the camp won the house of assembly seats in the just-ended harmonised elections.
BY CLAYTON MASEKESA
In shocking results, Zanu PF won 22 of 26 provincial seats. The MDC-T, which used to control the province, only got four seats.
Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and Mujuru are reportedly fighting to succeed Mugabe but the two have publicly denied leading factions or harbouring presidential ambitions.
Sources in Zanu PF last week however said 15 of the 22 seats were taken by MPs loyal to Mujuru while the remainder went to a faction sympathetic to Mnangagwa.
President Robert Mugabe is set to appoint a new cabinet and highly placed sources said about 11 of the 22 Zanu PF MPs that won in Manicaland might get posts.
Of the 11 MPs, seven are aligned to the Mujuru faction.
“The President is happy about what happened in Manicaland, as we have wrestled the seats from MDC-T. As you might be aware, Manicaland province has been an Achilles’ heel for the party as we have been losing to the opposition in many elections,” said the source. “But with this resounding victory, MPs from Manicaland who won under the Zanu PF ticket are likely to be rewarded for a job well done.”
Didymus Mutasa, the party’s national secretary for administration and also the Minister of Presidential Affairs, has championed Mujuru’s cause in Manicaland.
Former Energy minister and Manicaland governor Michael Nyambuya, who is also a retired Lieutenant General in the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) and an ally of Mujuru, has a strong curriculum vitae that might see him getting a ministerial post.
Nyambuya, who won the Nyanga-Mutasa seat, is currently the chairman of the national indigenisation board and the Zanu PF Manicaland vice-chairman.
Also in Mujuru’s camp is Munacho Mutezo, who won the Chimanimani West seat. He is a former Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Development.
“Mutezo is one of President Mugabe’s loyalists and I can safely say he will get the ministerial post because he has been a minister before and he is a close lieutenant to the President,” another source said.
Other winning incoming MPs believed to be sympathetic to the Mujuru faction include Samuel Undenge (Chimanimani East), Enock Porusingazi (Chipinge South) and Nyasha Chikwinya (Mutare South).
Undenge was a deputy minister of Economic Affairs and Planning during the coalition government GNU tenure.
“Porusingazi and Chikwinya have been shining examples of the party and they will be rewarded for that. They might be considered for deputy ministers’ posts,” said the source.
He added that Agriculture minister, Joseph Made who lost to Kudzanai Chipanga in Makoni West would be considered by Mugabe on the special appointments. Made is aligned to the Mujuru camp.
New entrants that might have some cabinet considerations include police Senior Assistant Commissioner, Ronald Muderedzwa (Buhera Central) and Assistant Commissioner Oliver Mandipaka (Buhera West), both believed to be loyal to the Mujuru camp.
Both Mujuru and Mnangagwa deny leading any factions in Zanu PF.