GOKWE – Zanu PF hawks allegedly aligned to Defence minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, have reportedly targeted Gokwe-Nembudziya MP Flora Buka and are determined to oust her from the area before the next general election.
She is accused of belonging to a faction led by Retired Army General Solomon Mujuru.
The two factions are entangled in endless political gamesmanship as they position themselves in the succession line-up to replace ageing Zanu PF first secretary President Robert Mugabe in the eventuality that he leaves office.
The hawks, who have also targeted Midlands Governor and Resident minister Jason Machaya over the same allegations, have roped in Jamaya Muduuri from Mashonaland West province to come and challenge Buka for the parliamentary seat.
Muduuri, who holds a large wallet, confirmed to NewsDay that he was interested in representing the people of Gokwe-Nembudziya in the next general election, but denied being involved in a plot to unseat Buka.
“I am a son of Nembudziya and people from that constituency want me to represent them,” Muduuri said. “I also believe the time for me to plough back into the society that brought me up has come.”
He has since started funding projects which include building cattle dip tanks and paying school fees for disadvantaged children in the constituency.
Buka confirmed that Muduuri had shown interest in wresting the seat she has held and defended three times since 2000 but said she was not worried about the challenge saying she was well connected with the constituency.
“I have been challenged before and in 2008 there were five men from my party during the primaries who wanted that ticket, but I still won. I cannot comment on the issue of factions in Zanu PF because these are only rumours. What I can tell you is when the time comes the electorate will speak,” said Buka.
Zanu PF’s Midlands secretary for security, Owen “Mudha” Ncube, seen as the kingmaker in the province and a key Mnangagwa ally, said the jostling for seats was a sign of vibrant democracy in the party and had nothing to do with factions.
“We agreed in Mutare that the party will not impose candidates and as a party we view this jostling as a healthy sign of democracy in the party,” he said.
However, sources in the party said Buka was being targeted by Ncube and others close to Mnangagwa who want to rid Midlands province of anyone associated with the Mujuru camp.
“Some who want to protect Buka are looking to have her seat reserved for a woman, but there is a problem because there is a resolution which stops the party from imposing candidates,” said the source.
Both Buka and Machaya denied suggestions that they were being targeted because they belonged to the Mujuru camp.