Zanu PF heavyweights insecure over primaries


Augustine Mukaro/Gift Phiri

ZANU PF heavyweights are increasingly becoming nervous about retaining their constituencies in the forthcoming primaries amid accusations tha

t they have not done anything for the electorate in the past five years.


This comes at a time when President Robert Mugabe has declared that no one will hold a ministerial post without a winning parliamentary election.


Ruling party sources said intra-party hostilities have drawn into its vortex Zanu PF political commissar Elliot Manyika, Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Foreign Affairs minister Stan Mudenge, and other bigwigs.


Sources said Manyika was insecure in Bindura where businessman Kenneth Musanhi appears the favourite candidate.


“Manyika’s fears originated from the time when President Mugabe visited Musanhi’s companies and farms,” sources said. “Since that time he has been questioning and blocking any projects that Musanhi would have pledged to finance in Bindura.”


This winter, sources say, Musanhi was approached by Bindura Provincial Hospital to donate blankets for the institution. But Manyika allegedly blocked the donation.


Musanhi was again asked to donate a duplicating machine for Bindura Primary School but Manyika, who questioned the motive behind such donations, put the project on hold.


It was not possible to obtain comment from Musanhi as he was said to be attending a series of meetings.


In Marondera East, Sekeramayi has come under intense pressure amid reports that three candidates are eyeing his constituency.


The Zimbabwe Independent understands that war veteran, Wilsred Marimo, and Urban Councils chairman, Jerry Gotora, are determined to unseat the Defence chief. Mashonaland East political commissar Lawrence Katsiru, who is facing rape charges, is also said to be eyeing the constituency.


The three are understood to have thrown their names for selection in the primaries.


Ministers Stan Mudenge and Paul Mangwana have reportedly been accused by aspiring candidates in their constituencies, Masvingo North and Kadoma East respectively, of using dirty tricks in their campaigns.


Retired Major Kudzai Mbudzi is gunning for Mudenge’s seat, while Zupco chief Bright Matonga is interested in Mangwana’s constituency.


Ruling party insiders this week said intra-party hostilities had intensified as jockeying for the succession of Mugabe hots up.


Winning primaries is important for Zanu PF bigwigs as it is a stepping stone for ascension to the presidency.


Mugabe is expected to announce his successor at the December Congress based on the results of the primaries slated for October.