HomeLocal NewsWhitewash victory for VP Mujuru

Whitewash victory for VP Mujuru

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The faction allegedly led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru has taken a decisive step ahead in the race to succeed President Robert Mugabe, after beating the rival faction believed to belong to Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa by a wide margin in the party’s provincial elections held on Saturday.

EVERSON MUSHAVA,CHIEF REPORTER

Results announced by the party’s national chairman Simon Khaya-Moyo yesterday showed Mujuru’s faction was by far more popular among party structures as it took control of almost all provinces.

Khaya-Moyo, however, immediately advised that the results were still subject to confirmation by the politburo.

“The results are subject to confirmation by the politburo after receiving reports from the team leaders,” Moyo said.

From the weekend results announced yesterday, the Mujuru camp has taken charge of Harare, Bulawayo, Mashonaland East, Masvingo and Matabeleland South provinces.

This brings her total provincial popularity tally to eight, considering that she swept clean the first battle fought in three provinces of Midlands, Mashonaland Central and Manicaland.

And still, the number could go up to nine out of ten following unconfirmed reports that Hurungwe West MP Themba Mliswa, another perceived Mujuru backer, won in the hotly contested Mashonaland West Province.

The Mnangagwa faction won just Matabeleland North Province where Richard Moyo prevailed. Mujuru and Mnangagwa are reportedly battling to control provinces as the race to succeed Mugabe, who turns 90 next February intensifies. It is believed Mugabe’s successor would be decided by provincial votes. The two leaders have, however, denied leading any succession factions. None of them has publicly claimed presidential ambitions.

In Harare, Ambassador Amos Midzi beat Jason Passade — Member of Parliament for Mt Pleasant — to retain the reigns of Harare Province. Callistus Ndlovu retained Bulawayo after trouncing former chairman Killian Sibanda and Douglas Ndlovu. In Mashonaland East Ray Kaukonde beat Phillemon Mutongi and Samuel Maisiri.

Andrew Langa clinched the Matabeleland South Province while Callisto Gwanetsa won in Masvingo Province.

“We are still waiting for the results for Mashonaland West Province,” Khaya-Moyo said.

Midzi, Ndlovu, Langa, Mliswa, Gwanetsa and Kaukonde are believed to belong to the Mujuru faction.

In the woman’s league elections Evah Bitu was voted as the provincial chairperson for Bulawayo; Aquelina Katsande came tops in Mashonaland East, Alice Dube (Matabeleland South), Angeline Matambanadzo (Harare), Medeline Dube (Matabeleland North) while Shylet Uyoyo scooped the Masvingo women’s top post.

The battle for the control of the Harare provincial youth league saw Godfrey Gomwe prevail over Jim Kunaka. Tamuka Nyoni won in Matabeleand North, Oliver Huruva (Masvingo), Washington Nkomo (Matabeleland South) Luckson Kandemiri (Mashonaland East) while Khumbulani Mpofu landed the Bulawayo youth league top post. It was not clear whose factions if any, that the victorious women and youth league leaders belonged to.

After chaotic polls early last month and the ensuing verbal showdown among party leaders, spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and presidential spokesperson Gorge Charamba, Mugabe was forced to call for an emergency politburo meeting to save the party from implosion.

While some party officials who refused to be named say Mujuru has moved a step closer to succeeding Mugabe, others said Mugabe was a cunning leader who could turn tables if he so wished.

“Mnangagwa has realised that he cannot stand the fight against Mujuru because she enjoys support from party heavy weights. He has decided to support a new and third faction allegedly personally aligned to Mugabe who has the powers to anoint a successor regardless of provincial voices,” said one official.

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