Last month the camp supporting Mnangagwa’s bid to succeed President Robert Mugabe seized control of the province after it swept all the party’s district coordinating committees in elections that were later nullified by Webster Shamu, the Zanu (PF) secretary for the commissariat.
Shamu alleged the electoral process was marred by irregularities.
However, insiders said the nullification of the election results was calculated at weakening Mnangagwa’s camp in the on-going tussle to succession, threatening to tear apart Zanu (PF).
Shamu is linked to the camp supporting Vice President Joice Mujuru’s presidential ambitions.
The sources said the loss of Albert Nyakuedzwa to Nathaniel Mhiripiri in a re-organised district coordinating committee election in Makoni was a clear sign Mnangagwa’s fortunes were being reversed in the province.
District elections in other areas are expected to be held soon but sources said the process has now been manipulated to ensure candidates sympathetic to Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions were sidelined.
Mhiripiri, infamous for spearheading violence against MDC supporters since 2000, beat Nyakuedzwa to land the post of district chairperson.
Nyakuedzwa also gained infamy after he led violent campaigns against supporters of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in elections held since 2000.
David Guy Mutasa, a relative of Didymus Mutasa, the Minister responsible for Presidential Affairs, was voted in as vice-chairman with Joseph Mujati coming in as the new secretary for administration.
All these individuals are said to be anti- Mnangagwa. The defence minister’s camp had taken control of Chimanimani, Nyanga, Zimunya- Marange, Makoni and Chipinge but the results were nullified by Shamu after a sequel of demonstrations by supporters of VP Mujuru.
The sources said what was complicating the political situation in the province was that, Mutasa, the provincial Godfather, was also keen on succeeding Mugabe.