HARARE – Chaos continues to reign supreme in Zanu PF with two members of the now fractious gang of four — Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and Savior Kasukuwere crossing swords over candidates to participate in the June by-elections.
The fallout came to the fore on Sunday as placard-waving supporters of aspiring parliamentary candidate Dakarai Mapuranga — an alleged Kasukuwere protégé — staged a demonstration against Muchinguri-Kashiri, Kudzanai Chipanga, Patrick Chinamasa and Samuel Undenge in Headlands.
The demonstrators accused the trio of blocking the candidatures of Mapuranga, Albert Nyakuedzwa — another alleged ally of Kasukuwere — as well as Claris Mandangu in favour of Christopher Chingosho, the principal director in the ministry of Gender and Women’s Affairs.
Read the placards: “Ndiyo democracy yacho here iyi (Is this the democracy you preach?), pasi nekuvharira vechidiki kuseri kwemudhuri (Down with blocking youth participation), my vote my candidate”.
|Oppah Muchinguri (left) with Saviour Kasukuwere|
Other supporters waved placards written “Headlands will never be a dictatorship again”.
“The demonstration was aimed at Muchinguri-Kashiri and her group in the Manicaland provincial executive who think they can dictate to us who should represent us. We wanted to send a message to the national elections directorate that we are fed up with candidates who are forced on us,” said one of the demonstrators.
Mapuranga and another alleged Kasukuwere ally Nyakuedzwa whose CV was also rejected by the Manicaland provincial executive have since written to the national elections directorate protesting the decision.
Kasukuwere, who holds the influential post of national commissar and heads the national elections directorate has however, not yet responded to the appeal.
While he was not picking his phone when contacted for comment, one of the accused politburo members told the Daily News that Mapuranga and Nyakuedzwa did not meet the party criteria to be candidates.
“They are being mischievous by appealing a decision they know was done above board but because they have the backing of the national commissariat, they think they will be given a waiver,” he said pointing out that they were not the only ones who were rejected.
“We have another candidate Claris Mandangu whose candidature was rejected and has accepted it because he understood the rules but these two comrades of ours, riding on Kasukuwere, think that the game rules will change. It is unfortunate”.
The politburo member however, confirmed that Kasukuwere was seeking to bend the party rules to accommodate his allies.
“We hear the two go about in the constituencies bragging that they have the backing of the national commissar and that nothing would stop them and it is unfortunate because Kasukuwere is the one who set the rules,” he said.
The ruling party has cleared Chingosho, former Manicaland governor Tinaye Chigudu, Ward 37 councillor Taurai Chiripamberi, war veteran Elizabeth Mukungatu and Sheilla Mahere, daughter to the late former minister Morris Nyagumbo to participate in the primary elections.
Mapuranga was disqualified on the basis that he has only been a member of the party’s Manicaland province for four months while the party constitution demands that one must have served for at least five years.
On the other hand, Nyakuedzwa was rejected as he was once convicted of murder.
“While his membership to the party is not in question after serving as Makoni North chairman, he was convicted of murdering a war veteran Tina Wilson Mukono in 2005 and therefore the province felt he did not qualify and one wonders in those circumstances where candidate imposition is coming from,” added the insider.
He said Mapuranga’s case was made worse by the fact that he hails from Chipinge district yet he wants to contest in Headlands.
“Our records show that he only became a member of this province in December last year, so just like Choko who is one year in the executive, they both do not qualify. We know he is the director of Platinum Agriculture which owns Mandara Farm in Headlands and he wants to use that to claim residence there but it does not work.” Daily News
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