The elections were scheduled to be held in Selous on Saturday but the provincial coordinating committee that engineered suspension of John Mafa who had an upper hand among sponsored candidates forcibly deferred elections to a later date.
Some party insiders said they were confused as some candidates are hardly known.
“It was a desperate move to hold elections after Phillip Chiyangwa was blocked to contest by the politburo as none of the aspiring candidates is better than Mafa” said a party insider requesting not to be named.
It is alleged the faction led by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo put forward Walter Chidhakwa to contest after earlier attempts to push Chiyangwa to provincial chairmanship position was blocked by President Robert Mugabe saying he is not interested in his relatives taking advantage of his position as Head of State.
“Unfortunately Chidhakwa’s name could not be sold to the electorate even in his home area of Zvimba, leaving Mafa squaring it out with Reuben Marumahoko who has no support either” .
“Some politburo members saw it as a slap in the face that Mafa had this support and pushed to postpone the elections. It was embarrassing as both Mafa and Marumahoko do not belong to Chombo’s camp who is the kingmaker in this game giving decisions as divisions persist.
“Marumahoko has the support of former cabinet minister and party spokesperson Nathan Shamuyarira among other senior members” added the source speaking on condition that he is not named.
Chombo could not be reached for comment. Other candidates included former deputy information minister Bright Matonga, John Yotamu, Joseph Chirongoma, Betty Biri and a virtually unknown Mehlomakulu who all submitted resumes for the chairman post.
Marumahoko has been acting since April following the death of Robert Sikanyika who had assumed chairmanship after Mafa was suspended but was allowed to contest after an appeal.
Acting chair Marumahoko was dumped by party supporters from his Hurungwe home, Siakobvu and Chegutu.