As factionalism ravages Zanu-PF, provincial affairs minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka’s preferred Kadoma-Chegutu candidate in the provincial youth league elections was beaten by agriculture deputy minister, Vangelis Haritatos’ proxy.
Chegutu rural district council chairman Tatenda Gwinji, a close ally of Mliswa-Chikoka, was trounced after only managing 31 votes, emerging last in a line up comprising winner Onisimo Zvandasara who tallied 50 votes and Timothy Masviba who garnered 42 votes.
The election was conducted at the Zanu-PF provincial headquarters in Chinhoyi on Tuesday to prevent possible skirmishes.
A Zanu-PF source said although Mliswa-Chikoka and Haritatos enjoy cordial relations, they clashed on the choice of candidate that will represent the province at the national youth league conference scheduled for May 4 to 8.
“This was a sticking point as Mliswa-Chikoka and Haritatos had differed on the youth to represent Kadoma-Chegutu District. After the two failed to reach a consensus, it was inevitable their preferred candidates had to square off in an election to settle the impasse, which turned out in Haritatos’ favour,” said the source, who requested anonymity.
The poll to choose the Kadoma/Chegutu representative was rescheduled following Sunday’s violence that broke out at Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) that forced elections to be aborted.
Each province is dispatching four representatives to contest for national executive posts during the conference, which is a precursor to the October elective congress, where the ruling party is expected to ordain its 2023 presidential candidate.
In Sunday’s elections, Valerie Makonza beat Chipo Tagwirei and Sthembeni Madzima to land the gender seat, while Shepherd Marime was elected unopposed for Hurungwe/Kariba district.
Decide Manhanzva won the Zvimba/Makonde polls after shrugging off Godknows Muzhandamuri and Admire Muronzi, who is brother-in-law to information ministry permanent secretary, Nick Mangwana.