HomeLocal NewsKaukonde favourite to replace Gen Mujuru

Kaukonde favourite to replace Gen Mujuru


Zanu PFs Mashonaland East provincial chairman Ray Kaukonde is being touted as the front-runner in the race to occupy the post left vacant following the death of the provinces Godfather,
General Solomon Mujuru, in a mysterious farmhouse inferno last August.

Mujuru, who was crucial in President Robert Mugabes ascendancy to power in the 1970s, was burnt beyond recognition at his Alamein Farm, about 60km outside the capital along the Harare-Masvingo Road on August 15, 2011.

Mujuru, once the legislator for Chikomba (1994-2000), rose to power under the nom de guerre Rex Nhongo during the struggle for independence attained in 1980.

Impeccable sources in Mashonaland East said Kaukonde was gaining tremendous ground and influence as evidenced by the volume of traffic of party stalwarts from all levels of the party structures at his various offices almost daily seeking guidance.

Elections are around the corner and if he (Kaukonde) does not have a grip on power, chances are that the power dynamics will change, said a source.

He has to make sure that the Mujuru dynasty lives on. There are people on the ground who want to take over power since the death of the General, and if he allows that, he and (Vice-President) Mai (Joice) Mujuru are doomed.

But also one must remember that as chairman, Kaukonde has to make sure his popularity does not wane.

The source went on: Although he may be junior to people like Sydney Sekeramayi (politiburo member and Minister of State Security who hails from the same province), he is the one wielding power because he controls the cells, branches, districts and district coordinating committees. In fact, he is increasingly regarded as the provinces next Godfather after the Generals death.

But Kaukonde, a Mujuru loyalist and business tycoon, played down his popularity and preferred to say: Sekeramayi is the elder in the province and I am his junior. He is our elder in the province.

Pressed on who he would support as the provinces Godfather to replace Mujuru, Kaukonde replied: Ambrose Mutinhiri.

Retired Brigadier Mutinhiri, a politburo member, was once nominated Zanu PFs candidate for Marondera West in the March 2008 elections which he won with 4 284 votes against the MDC-Ts 2 132.

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