Deadwood thrown new lease of life

THE proportional representation electoral system for the Senate and National Assembly revived the dying political careers of many in both Zanu PF and MDC-T.

Paidamoyo Muzulu

The new system has become a double-edged sword for political parties as members left out cried foul.

Zanu PF became the greatest beneficiary of the new system as many of its senior leaders who had been walloped in the past two parliamentary elections got a new lease of life.

Some of the prominent names who got seats in the Senate include long forgotten Charles Tawengwa and former ministers Kumbirai Kangai, Chen Chimutengwende and Shuvai Mahofa.

On the MDC-T side Thokozani Khupe, Evelyn Masaiti Muzunga, Ruth Labode and Consilia Chinanzvavana, all senior party officials, eased into parliament via the proportional representation ticket.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) released results showing Zanu PF winning 37 seats in both the Senate and National Assembly through proportional representation.

The system is fair enough to give the party some seats in both Harare and Bulawayo where it has struggled to win since 2000.

Zanu PF won three Senate seats in Harare, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces which have been dominated by MDC-T since 2000.

The major beneficiaries from Zanu PF in those regions are Sabina Thembani, Sabina Mangwende, Sikhanyisiwe Mpofu, Tsitsi Gezi and Abigail Damasane.

However, amid the jubilation from those selected on the party lists, some Zanu PF stalwarts had their political careers moving closer to the dustbin. These include Naison Ndlovu (former Senate deputy president), former ministers Herbert Murerwa, July Moyo and Claudius Makova, who were placed at the lower end of the party’s list.

In MDC-T, former Health minister Henry Madzorera missed the boat as did national council members Silas Matamisa and Lynn Kay.

Political analyst Ricky Mukonza said proportional representation is usually used by the party hierarchy as a deliberate mechanism to extend patronage to close associates who may fail to gain seats in an open poll.