OUTGOING Zanu-PF Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri and Manicaland Senator Monica Mutsvangwa yesterday easily retained their central committee seats when they were elected to fill the Manicaland women’s quota ahead of the December congress.
Recently before the tables were turned against Vice-President Joice Mujuru, the chances of the two retaining their positions were seemingly slim as the Zanu PF provincial executive was reportedly decampaigning them.
However, with the recent entrance of First Lady Grace Mugabe into mainstream politics, the two’s political fortunes have been rising.
Muchinguri is now tipped to land a powerful post in the party after the December congress.
At one point, there were fierce clashes between Mutsvangwa and Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa who was backed by the Manicaland provincial executive to strip her of the central committee seat.
The decision was, however, reversed by the legal department of the party led by Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mutasa was, until recently, considered by Manicaland godfather, but his power base has been severely weakened by a relentless attack by Grace and Mnangagwa loyalists.
In announcing the winners, Women’s League secretary for security Shuvai Mahofa said those against the nomination of Muchinguri and Mutsvangwa were linked to “Gamatox”, a reference to Mutasa and the faction led by Mujuru.
Mahofa warned that anyone who opposed to the two would “face the music”.
The five members who qualified for nomination into the central committee were Muchinguri, Mutsvangwa, Judith Mawire, Emelda Gondo and Cecilia Maradzamunda.
Mutsvangwa implored people of Manicaland to be united and ensure that Zanu PF wins the 2018 elections.
Meanwhile, Makoni South MP Mandi Chimene told delegates that women in Manicaland should make a resolution to allow President Robert Mugabe to choose his deputies and the national chairman.
She said elections would create problems for the party.
Others said all people linked to Mujuru should be barred from contesting the central committee positions and also to be stopped from attending the forthcoming congress.
Meanwhile, in Mashonaland West, prominent businessman Phillip Chiyangwa, Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora and Prisca Mupfumira were also elected into the central committee.