By Criswell Chisango
Chinhoyi, 09 December 2013 – The newly elected Mashonaland West Zanu PF provincial executive is under fire for smuggling losing election candidates ahead of this week’s national conference.
This has exposed long standing divisions within the party as the bid to succeed President Robert Mugabe intensify.
Insiders revealed that newly elected provincial chairman Temba Mliswa ‘’blacklisted’’ Hurungwe Central constituency winner Leonard Masamba in favor of Chomusaona Mutisi whose name was approved at the eleventh hour.
Sources said Masamba is suspected to belong to a camp linked to outgoing provincial chair woman and Hurungwe East Member of Parliament Sarah Mahoka who is reportedly affiliated to Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Emerson Mnangagwa.
According to party loyalists Mnangagwa’s loyalists who contested the provincial chairpersons’ posts lost dismally to supporters of Vice President Joice Mujuru in the just ended provincial elections.
Both Mnangangwa and Mujuru have publicly denied harbouring ambitions to take over from Mugabe while party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo has also strenuously rebuffed the existence of factionalism in the ruling party.
Mahoka lost out in Hurungwe district where four other Members of Parliament are suspected to belong to the Mujuru faction according to sources.
Members of the army, police and Central Intelligence Organisation, (CIO) operatives presided over Zanu PF elections that were marred by irregularities including missing ballot papers among other issues.
Another youth Silas Chimburi was readmitted on Sunday after his name was left out but there were protests over manipulated votes.
Hurungwe North MP Reuben Marumahoko who never participated in the elections will be among party delegations, according to a list seen by Radio VOP.
However, Mliswa who defeated his main rival Phillip Chiyangwa denied the allegations that he ‘’blacklisted’’ winners.
‘’I deal with names forwarded to me by the politburo following the electorate directorate recommendations and if there are some mistakes on how the names were submitted then we can rectify but I do not have powers to deny winners to represent the party. We hope our conference will be a success’’ said Mliswa in a telephone interview.
The five day conference has left the provincial capital spruced up as pot-holed roads leading the town have been repaired.
“It is a pity that the government has resources to repair the roads for the five day event when we have gone for several years with these pot holes and senior government workers pass through here on their way to Kariba resort town. We want clean water here,’’ said Chenai Mutare of Gadzema, one of the oldest suburbs in Chinhoyi.
Meanwhile, some residents are refurbishing their houses in preparation to lease them as guest lodges to the Zanu PF conference delegates.
“We hope to make money out of this conference as there are no adequate houses for those coming here,” said James Kabeso of Cold Stream near Chinhoyi University of Technology, where the conference will be held from 10 to 15 December 2013.