THE race for the post of Zanu PF chairman for Matabeleland North has divided bigwigs in the province.
By Our Staff Reporters
Acting chairperson Thokozile Mathuthu is reportedly urging members to vote for the party’s provincial deputy secretary for finance, Patrick Utete, in polls scheduled to be held on Saturday.
Utete is challenging former chairman of the disbanded Umguza district co-ordinating committee (DCC) Richard Moyo.
Moyo is reportedly aligned to Mines minister and Umguza MP Obert Mpofu.
Mathuthu, who is also the Matabeleland North provincial governor, is reported to have made the statement backing Utete on Monday during an accreditation exercise in Hwange for delegates who will attend the Zanu PF annual conference in the Midlands Province next month.
“In her address she called on the party members to vote for Utete,” said a party source, who declined to be named.
“She said she did not want Moyo to be the chairman.
“Party members were shocked to hear Mathuthu say that, especially given she is a very senior party member and is part of the politburo.
“We feel that even if a leader has their desired candidate, they should not openly declare their interest because what will happen if an unpreferred candidate wins?”
However, Mathuthu denied the allegations yesterday.
“When there are polls, people say a lot of things,” she said.
“Let me not comment on the issue because people will take advantage of my comments for their self interest. I will leave it to you to write what you think.”
Meanwhile, it has emerged that former Hwange DCC chairman Reeds Dube initially wanted to contest for the provincial chairman’s post in Mpofu’s camp, but volunteered to step aside, as he focused his interest on the Hwange Central parliamentary seat.
Instead, Dube has reportedly chosen to be Moyo’s chief election agent.
He is leading a team that is going around the province canvassing for support.
On Tuesday evening his team held a meeting at Mkhosana suburb in Victoria Falls attended by about 500 party members and urged those eligible to vote in Saturday’s polls to rally behind Moyo.
The election is viewed as an acid test on Mpofu’s influence in the province.
However, indications are that Mpofu-aligned candidate Moyo might win after Delay Ncube, from the minister’s constituency, on Saturday, won the provincial youth chairmanship post in a landslide victory.