TAVENGWA Mukuhlani, the under-fire Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) chairman, has been short-listed by the ruling Zanu PF to contest Sunday’s primary elections for the Mhondoro-Ngezi constituency.
The nomination list that has been released by the party reveals that Mukuhlani will battle it out in Mhondoro-Ngezi with Lindiwe Chitombo, Thompson Nhidza, Jacob Nhidza, Taurai Mabika, Edward Chimedza and Norbert Kazembe to represent Zanu PF for the Member of Parliament position in Mhondoro-Ngezi in the general elections by July.
Interestingly, Sports Minister Kazembe Kazembe is the Zanu PF provincial chairman in Mashonaland West, in which Mhondoro-Ngezi falls under.
Mukuhlani became a ZC board member for the first time in 2003 and later rose to become vice-chairman of the association under Peter Chingoka when the Sports and Recreation (SRC) dissolved the old inclusive board which had retired Supreme Court judge Ahmed Ebrahim as Chingoka’s deputy.
He had initially been drafted onto the ZC board by virtue of being chairman of the Mashonaland Cricket Association – the provincial body he assumed control of in 2003 without known track-record in the game.
Mukuhlani would later leave ZC, only to reappear in 2015.
He challenged and defeated interim chairman Wilson Manase – who had appeared headed uncontested for a substantive term.
Mukuhlani, an Indian-trained pharmacist, is currently based in Bulawayo, where he is in full practice in the healthcare industry.
He has come under the spotlight following Zimbabwe’s failure to qualify for the 2019 World Cup, with a wide array of cricket personalities putting blame on his administration for the great World Cup disappointment, and many more plights plaguing the game.
The ZC chairman, in his defence, has shifted the World Cup blame on sacked coach Heath Streak, but his utterances against the former national team captain have been met with spirited backlash from far and wide.
Mukuhlani, meanwhile, is not the only cricket official vying for a seat in parliament on the Zanu-PF ticket.
Mukuhlani, who did not reveal his candidature until the morning of the day he dislodged Wilson Manase at ZC in 2015, has also kept his cards close to his chest in quest for political office.
ZC board member William Chaitezvi is contesting the primaries in Karoi, while Midwest Rhinos franchise manager Admire Marodza has tossed his name in the hat for the volatile Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe constituency.
Marodza, a modestly-gifted club cricketer in his playing days, has worked in the administration of the game for years and was team manager for Zimbabwe at the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand at the beginning of this year. The politics rush by sports administrators has also seen Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa and his deputy Omega Sibanda enter the elections race, also both on the Zanu PF.