HARARE – The Zanu PF race for the party’s Chivi South National Assembly nomination has erupted into a five-candidate crossfire over who has the proper credentials, days before voters put their stamp on the campaign in the forthcoming primary elections.
Sitting Zanu PF MP Maphios Vutete faces four challengers — all top Masvingo businesspersons of note — who aim to topple him in an increasingly interesting forthcoming primary election.
Vutete, who is also a Central Intelligence Organisation operative, faces an unexpectedly strong challenge from former Chivi South MP and miner Irvine Dzingirai; businessman, property developer and Ngundu Rock Motel owner Jonathan Gapare; businesswoman Mai Hungoidza, and businessman, philanthropist and Chivi Rural District Council (RDC) chairperson Killer Zivhu, a protégé of provincial governor Josiah Hungwe, who announced his bid during a donation of 2 000 bags of cement to 50 schools at Shindi Primary School last Friday.
Chivi South villagers can expect a close finish when they go to the primary polls to elect their Zanu PF candidate for the National Assembly seat.
While Vutete was unreachable for comment yesterday, the soft-spoken legislator has publicly announced plans to seek re-election, and will file paperwork when the party invites applications.
Dzingirai also told the Daily News that he will file to run for Chivi South legislative seat in the Zanu PF primary elections.
“I will put forward my candidacy. I am just waiting for the signal from my party,” the businessman said, adding he had been pressured by the constituency to stand.
Dzingirai, who is into mining and runs a private school Conical Tower Academy said Chivi South residents wanted him to become an MP again. He served as MP for the area before Vutete, and alleges the incumbent has failed to bring development to Chivi South.
Mai Hungoidza, who runs enterprises at Maringire Business Centre, told the Daily News that she was waiting for the ruling party to officially invite applications, and has stayed her campaign for now until prospective candidates are invited to forward their applications and curriculum vitaes.
According to Zanu PF rules, those intending to contest National Assembly elections must be fully-paid up members of the party, should have served as an office bearer at district level for at least five years, should be of good character and be loyal to the party.
Zivhu, who is into real estate, said he was ripe for Parliament after serving at the lower ranks as a councillor for a period spanning more than a decade under Chivi RDC and subsequently as president of Zimbabwe Local Government Association for years.
He said President Emmerson Mnangagwa is assured of a resounding victory in Chivi South and the district as a whole, touting his record on economic development through his Village ZimAsset project, philanthropy and peace.
He said his desire to stand as a candidate was driven by party members in the constituency and district at large.
“It will be a mere formality for the party to contest because we have already won before elections.
“We are a development-oriented party that a few would stand against Zanu PF. Here President Mnangagwa’s votes are secured and he will win resoundingly,” he said.
Blessings Mashaya – Daily News