Zanu (PF) Hawks Scramble For Mutasa, Mliswa Seats

The Headlands and Hurungwe West constituencies by-elections set for June 10 this year have generated a lot of interest within Zanu-PF where a host of hopefuls are angling for the seats.

The two constituencies fell vacant after Zanu PF recalled from Parliament former secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, MP for Headlands, and former Mashonaland West chairman Temba Mliswa of Hurungwe West.

Mutasa was booted out at the December congress along with other senior officials such as former Vice-President Joice Mujuru who were accused of plotting to unseat the President.

In Headlands 15 people are interested in representing Zanu PF but the number has been trimmed to five while in Hurungwe West eight aspirants including Affirmative Action Group president Keith Guzha are set to battle it out for the sole ruling party ticket.

Mutasa and Mliswa have vowed to stand in the elections too and are said to be busy campaigning.

However, Mutasa recently said a lot of spanners were being thrown along his way with his supporters being intimidated by members of the Central Intelligence Organisation.

One aspirant who was considered a front-runner in Zanu PF, Dakarai Mapuranga had his CV rejected last week.

He has however taken the matter to the national election directorate, charging he was unfairly treated by officials in the provincial coordinating committee headed by Oppah Muchinguri.

Mapuranga has written a letter of appeal to the party’s national commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, and to the second Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko.

He was disqualified on the basis that he was from Seke, a claim which he denied saying he is a member of the Manicaland provincial youth executive and owns a farm in Headlands.

“Whereas the party office in Rusape informed us of the dismissal of my candidature as aspiring candidate for Headlands constituency on the basis of [there being] no referral letter from Seke 2 district in Chitungwiza where I served since 2002, I have now attached the confirmation letter,” reads his appeal.

“I hope you find the above in order and favourably reconsider the decision made on Tuesday March 24.”

The MDC-T candidate in the previous elections, David Tekeshe who lost to Mutasa in 2013, said he would not contest in line with a resolution taken by his party.

“People from across the political divide are approaching me to stand in the elections but even though I could win, there is no point of contesting where there are no electoral reforms, so it’s useless for me to stand,” he said.

National Constitutional Assembly spokesperson and national administrator Madock Chivasa also said his party would be contesting the by-elections and would go through primaries.

Mutasa and Mliswa could not be reached for comment on Saturday.