The Mugabe dynasty’s dominance in Parliament may soon be over after it emerged a member of the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation and farmer Francis Mukwangwariwa is challenging President Robert Mugabe’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, for the Zvimba East constituency in the next election.
The dreadlocked legislator is “the last man standing” from President Mugabe’s family in Parliament.
At one stage, the Mugabes had three lawmakers, namely Zhuwao, his elder brother Leo Mugabe and their late mother Sabina Mugabe, making them the biggest family in the House of Assembly. Zhuwao, the Zanu PF youth director, first entered the august House after the party reserved Manyame as a youth constituency.
However, yesterday, Mukwangwariwa — now referred to by some in Zvimba East as “Honourable MP” — made his intentions clear, to give Zhuwao “a good run for his money, come election time”.
“If given the green light by the party (Zanu PF), I will definitely stand for the Zvimba East constituency,” the confident agent said.
“I believe I have a lot to offer in this constituency which has not enjoyed the development it deserves,” said Mukwangwariwa, who is currently councillor for Zvimba Rural District Council Ward 26.
The aspiring MP said he had already started rolling out community projects and the “electorate is appreciative”.
“I am giving fertiliser to deserving farmers. In schools, I am donating books, helping construct teachers’ houses and giving schools soccer balls as well as paying school fees for the underprivileged,” he boasted.
However, Zhuwao said Mukwangwariwa only stood to embarrass himself should he throw his hat into the ring.
“The beautiful thing about Zimbabwe is that as an elected official, I am subjected to a vote and I am looking forward to the election,” Zhuwao retaliated.
“I am confident that I have been able to acquit myself well in accordance to the wishes of the electorate of Zvimba East.”
The President’s nephew added that contrary to Mukwangwariwa’s accusations, he had done a lot for the constituency.
“We have managed to ensure that our people have homes,” Zhuwao said. “Actually, we have managed to create the largest number of housing stands compared to any other constituency in Zimbabwe.
Whitecliff Housing Scheme, for example, has over 3 000 housing stands. This is in addition to other schemes like Nyabira, Heydon and Tsikwi. I am confident that come election time, I will beat any contestant, be it from Zanu PF or the opposition, even if they were to combine forces.”
At Zanu PF’s annual national conference held in Bulawayo in December, President Mugabe banned the imposition of candidates to thunderous applause from delegates.
It had become a norm over the years that candidates were imposed and this has cost Zanu PF dearly.