Mashonaland East Minister of State Cde Joel Biggie Matiza is now the Zanu-PF substantive chairman for the province after beating five other contestants with a huge margin in elections held over the weekend.
Cde Matiza garnered 15 131 votes in polls that were held on Saturday and his closest rival Cde Edgar Mbwembwe got 9 289 votes.
Cde Aeneas Chigwedere, who was the interim chair managed 2 443, while Cde Wilbert Nyarugwe got 664.
Other contestants were Cdes Samuel Maisiri and Sydrack Mususa who got 2 999 and 95 votes respectively.
In the Women’s League, Cde Aplonia Munzverengi bagged 5 558 votes to be declared the new provincial chairlady.
Her rival Cde Beatrice Nyamupinga got 4 555 votes.
Cde Kelvin Mutsvairo is the new party Youth League chair after amassing 4 436 votes, taking over from interim chair Cde Farai Maimba who got 280 votes.
Cdes Wilbert Kaharai and Dunnymore Mutyambizi, who also contested for the Youth League chairmanship post, got 1 894 and 1 364 votes respectively.
Other aspirants for the Youth League post Cde Wellington Peyama got 240 votes, Cde Wilfred Bvunzawabaya 195 and Cde Ngondo only managed 76 votes.
In an interview after the announcement of the votes, Cde Matiza said his major task was to strengthen the party in the province ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections.
“Our efforts will now be directed towards strengthening the party after a vacuum of a substantive leadership,” he said.
“There have been some suspensions and the problem of gamatox elements, so we now need to re-organise the party.
“Next weekend we will be filling the remaining posts and I would like to work with a team that can deliver.”
As a province, Cde Matiza said, Mashonaland East was keen to deliver the biggest vote for Zanu-PF in 2018 and efforts would be intensified to realise that objective.
Over and above membership mobilisation, Cde Matiza said they would also ensure that all people were registered as voters.
He said there was also the challenge of parallel structures in the province that needed to be dealt with.
“2018 is around the corner and as a province we want to deliver the biggest vote for our party,” he said. “In this regard, I am going to ensure that all party structures are strengthened and that we are all pulling in the same direction.”
Zanu-PF national spokesperson Cde Simon Khaya Moyo yesterday congratulated the winners in the provincial elections.
“We are delighted by the way the elections were conducted,” he said. “There was no violence and there was total discpline. That should set an example to other provinces that are still to hold provincial elections.
“We want unity in the party and we want to live by our motto.”
Cde Khaya Moyo deplored factionalism, saying Zanu-PF was a united party with one centre of power..”
“We must not hear what is being published in the papers that there are some people who want to indulge in factionalism,” he said.
“We deplore factionalism and we must always be accountable to the people because we are elected by them, therefore, they remian supreme.
“Nobody owns this party, we are only members of the part with one central leader.
“We must also fight corruption at all levels and we must commit ourselves to the implementation of Zim-Asset.”
Mashonaland East did not have a substantive leadership since December last year following the expulsion of Mr Ray Kaukonde for his role in the plot to unseat President Mugabe unconstitutionally.
Mr Kaukonde was replaced by Cde Phenias Chihota who did not last long after the province passed a vote of no confidence on him and was replaced by Cde Chigwedere.
As the interim chairman, Cde Chigwedere was once suspended on allegations of fomenting divisions in the province, but the suspension was overturned by the party’s national commissar, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, who described it as a nullity.