DAGGERS are out in Zanu PF ahead of the party provincial elections tomorrow amid reports of fierce battles among aspiring candidates.
Report by Staff Reporters
In separate interviews with NewsDay yesterday, candidates eyeing to be chairpersons were confident that they would land the top positions and control their respective provinces.
In Harare, incumbent Amos Midzi and Mt Pleasant MP Jaison Pasadi are fighting for the control of the province, alongside another party official Justin Zvandasara.
Pasadi confirmed to NewsDay that he had submitted his papers and was confident of victory.
“We want to bring sanity to the city. We have seen that our party is at the centre of indigenisation, but most of our structures in Harare are not empowered. It is the first step I will take to make sure the youths and women in Harare are empowered in line with the programme by President (Robert) Mugabe,” Pasadi said.
Midzi refused to comment saying he was busy.
In Midlands, Larry Mavhima, who is seeking to topple incumbent chairman Jason Machaya, was equally confident.
“I am confident I will win resoundingly. I believe we need a new leadership. Cde Machaya has been there for 10 years and it’s time he passed the baton to someone with fresh ideas,” said Mavhima.
Machaya’s mobile number went unanswered.
In Mashonaland West, businessman Phillip Chiyangwa, who lost the Chinhoyi seat in the July harmonised elections, is seeking a comeback as chairman, a position he held before his arrest in 2004 over espionage charges.
“If you are chairman you are like the engine in the province. In Chinhoyi it was not Chiyangwa who lost, Zanu PF lost, Mugabe lost, but the councillors won. We were able to win Chinhoyi as a city. I put in a lot of resources to make sure we won the city. If you look at Harare, Masunda was the mayor, but there were a lot of MDC-T MPs, however, it was Masunda who was important and known. It is good Zanu PF won the city and not the nonsense that Chiyangwa lost the seat,” he said.
However, his victory looks unlikely to come on a silver platter as outspoken legislator Temba Mliswa and incumbent John Mafa are eyeing the seat.
“If I become provincial chairman I will make sure that I deal with the issue of factionalism,” Mliswa said.
“You are asking if I stand a chance against Chiyangwa. With respect to him, I think Chinhoyi seat is an important one which we should regain. I think Chiyangwa should concentrate on being a shadow member of Parliament so that we regain the seat in the next elections not to burden him with being national chairman,” said Mliswa.
Mafa opted to be cautious, but expressed fears of rigging.
“We are expecting that on Saturday, we will have people come from outside to conduct the polls so that we do not have any form of rigging. I cannot say whether I will win or lose the elections,” he said.
In Mashonaland East and Matabeleland South, aspirants Ray Kaukonde and Andrew Langa, who are respectively eyeing the two provinces, look set to be chairpersons as reports indicate that the two are not to be contested.