By Criswell Chisango
Chinhoyi, September 3, 2013 – The Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial executive is divided over a clandestine bid to smuggle Philip Chiyangwa, the maverick millionaire businessman and nephew of President Robert Mugabe after he agonisingly lost last month’s parliamentary elections to MDC-T’s Peter Mataruse.
Chiyangwa is the only Zanu PF candidate to lose in the province where the ruling party whitewashed MDC-T in the July 31 harmonised elections by registering victory in 20 parliamentary constituencies.
Disgruntled provincial coordinating committee members who include the party’s central committee members told Radio VOP here that they were determined to ‘’block efforts’’ being pushed by the party’s provincial chairperson John Mafa agitating to accommodate Chiyangwa into the provincial executive.
“Mafa and some few provincial members including women provincial chairlady and Hurungwe East Member of Parliament Sarah Mahoka are pushing for Chiyangwa’s admission into the executive. It has never been on the agenda but we are surprised that they are now calling for us to accommodate Chiyangwa. We will block the move at all costs as he lost out during the election. We cannot be seen incorporating losers in our provincial executive” said one of the provincial coordinating committee member who spoke to Radio VOP on condition that he is not named.
Other Zanu PF sources revealed that Mafa who survived a coup in 2012 from top Zanu PF bigwigs who wanted him fired is now lobbying to accommodate Chiyangwa who supported him during his ‘’hard times’’.
Chiyangwa, who claims to be a distant relative of President Robert Mugabe is the party’s former provincial chairperson who during his tenure he sponsored the terror campaign team code named the Top Six but was expelled after he was arrested and linked to espionage charges. He was only readmitted into Zanu PF after serving a five year suspension.
“The move to accept Chiyangwa is payback time from Mafa and those on his side’’ added one Zanu PF central committee member. Mafa has never enjoyed peace over his chairmanship after he challenged national political commissar and outgoing Media, Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu during the party’s primary elections.
When contacted for comment, a livid Chiyangwa told Radio VOP that; “Taura naMafa panyaya iyoyo. Ndingazive sei zvirimo mu executive yandisiri. (Don’t bother me as I don’t sit in the provincial executive. You should engage Mafa)”
Another informed source revealed that the provincial executive led by Mafa had requested a meeting with Zanu PF national party chairman Simon Khaya-Moyo over their proposal to co-opt Chiyangwa.
Mafa could neither deny nor confirm the move and kept evading Radio VOP’s request to confirm the plan claiming he was in series of meetings.
“I will come back to you over the issue as we are sorting something out and once the ground has been cleared, I will comment’’ said Mafa.
However, some sources added that Mafa is trying to keep the bid as a “secret until Moyo is briefed’’ on the plot to rope in Chiyangwa into the party’s provincial structures.