A BATTLE of the titans is on the cards in Makoni North, Manicaland, amid reports that provincial governor Tinaye Chigudu wants to take the seat fro
m State Security minister Didymus Mutasa.
Zanu PF sources this week said Chigudu, the party’s provincial chairperson, has already launched his campaign for the 2008 parliamentary election in the constituency and was determined to elbow out Mutasa, the party’s national secretary for administration.
“Chigudu has vowed to slug it out with Mutasa in the party’s primary elections,” one of the sources said. “The two protagonists have since launched their campaigns and there are reports of political violence in the constituency.”
The source added that party youths were being used to perpetrate the violence.
A central committee member in Manicaland told the Zimbabwe Independent that when he recently visited Tande area in the constituency to pay condolences to a relative, mourners fled after mistaking his car for that of one of the two contestants.
“The mourners only returned after realising I was not one of those vying for the seat,” the central committee member said. “There is a war of catapults in the area. It is really serious.”
Mutasa yesterday declined to comment on the matter.
“Comrade, I cannot talk to you. I am rushing for a meeting,” he said.
Repeated efforts to get a comment from Chigudu were in vain at the time of going to press yesterday.
Violence broke out in the constituency in 2004 when war veteran James Kaunye challenged Mutasa for the seat. Mutasa triumphed.
Chigudu is currently embroiled in a row with Youth Development minister Saviour Kasukuwere after the latter dissolved the party’s youth executive in Manicaland that was reportedly opposed to President Robert Mugabe’s candidacy next year.
According to media reports, Kasukuwere, a Zanu PF politburo member representing the ruling party’s youths, attracted the ire of Chigudu after he dissolved the ruling party’s provincial youth wing about a month ago accusing them of corruption and incompetence.