THE Zanu PF Mashonaland East provincial leadership at the weekend moved in and resolved the rivalry between Wedza South legislator Michael Madanha and provincial youth executive member Tinodaishe Machakaire following reports of bloody clashes among supporters, as the two protagonists were battling for the party ticket to represent the constituency in this year’s general elections.
BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA/WINSTONE ANTONIO
Just before the inter-district meeting held on Saturday, Madanha was booed by party members aligned to his rival after he claimed that there was no political violence in the constituency.
“As the MP, I am yet to receive violence issues. I even phoned the police stations and was told no violence reports have been lodged. I urge you to report any cases of violence to the police because some of us will be in the dark about such issues,” he said.
Madanha’s remarks angered party activists, who accused him of sponsoring a militia which terrorised residents, especially Zanu PF supporters linked to Machakaire.
Machakaire’s supporters claimed Madanha wanted his rival to quit the forthcoming party primary elections and leave him uncontested.
In his address, provincial chairperson Joel Biggie Matiza urged party members to desist from violence and social media abuse.
“We are here for a special case. The issue of candidacy’s at the centre of the problem. Cde Madanha and Tinmac (Machakaire), there has been a lot of talking from social media and newspapers, which has been dragging the party’s name into the mud. We got it from the papers and social media platforms that there is violence in Wedza and, as the leadership, we were shocked about the developments, where names of the big people were being involved and abused,” he said.
“As we want Hwedza to remain politically strong, we sat down with those involved and heard their side of the stories and as we concluded that the problem is emanating from the issue of candidacy, Machakaire showed maturity and said he has no issues with Madanha and pledged to support him as we settled the matter.”
After the meeting, Machakaire pledged to co-operate with Madanha in developing the constituency.
“We are going to remove all the criminal elements around our MP (Madanha) who are peddling falsehoods. We want to work with the sitting MP. From here, we now know that we are going out there as one people,” Machakaire said.
“I was born in Wedza, I will die in this area and I am going to do development projects here. No one will stop me from that, but as I said I will work with the MP. If I am wrong I am willing to take advice from him (MP).”
During the rally, party youths kept on chanting praises to Machakaire, whom they credited for carrying out various developmental projects in the area for the past few years, unlike Madanha, whom they accused of abandoning them.
Madanha later chipped in, saying: “It is true that the whole district, things were not moving at all. The people were always at loggerheads and, at the same time, establishing groups. Anyway, as we go to our homes, let us know that we are now a united force. We resolved our differences and we are now working together (with Machakaire).”
Madanha bemoaned the use of social media, saying it was of concern in the district, as it was used to promote hate-speech against the leaders.