Zanu-PF has given the nod to socialite Mike Chimombe’s candidature to stand in the weekend elections for the ruling party’s Central Committee (CC).
The polls are being fiercely contested amid allegations of vote buying, rigging and intimidation.
Chimombe, popularly known as Boss Mike, was recently arrested for allegedly defrauding a Harare man of US$16,500 in a botched residential stand deal. He is out of custody on bail.
According to a leaked Zanu-PF Mashonaland West list submitted and endorsed by the party’s Politburo at its Wednesday meeting held in Harare, Chimombe will fight it out for one of the four Makonde district slots alongside equally wealthy businessmen and former councillors, Charles Mutisi and Simba Kanzou.
Information Deputy Minister, Kindness Paradza also made it onto the list of successful candidates to challenge incumbent Makonde CC member, Phineas Makumbe in one of the impending plebiscites.
According to sources, Paradza and Local Government Deputy Minister, Marian Chombo of Zvimba North, both have President Emmerson Mnangagwa to thank after he reportedly intervened to save them from being labelled “rebels” and removal from the contestants’ list for their previous flirtations with opposition parties.
Paradza once joined yester-year finance minister Simba Makoni’s Mavambo/Kusile/ Dawn party, while Chombo was a top-ranking official in the National Patriotic Front (NPF) led by embittered former vice president, Joice Mujuru.
Another top Zanu-PF official and former Cabinet minister, Prisca Mupfumira accused of grand corruption involving over US$90million at the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), will contest the Makonde women’s quota slot against Martha Tafirenyika, who according to sources initially had her curriculum vitae (CV) suspiciously going missing.
In an interesting turn of events, some key Zanu-PF members, including outspoken Chegutu West lawmaker Dexter Nduna, former information deputy minister Bright Matonga and ex-finance deputy minister Terrence Mukupe had their candidatures disapproved for various reasons.
“Nduna was disqualified for pending disciplinary matters and the vetting panel recommended him to be enrolled at the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology in order to whip the rebellious MP into line,” a Zanu-PF insider told NewZimbabwe.com Wednesday.
“Matonga wanted to contest for the Mhondoro-Ngezi slot but had his CV thrown out for being a security threat while Mukupe was not cleared because he didn’t have a transfer letter from his former Harare province.”
Former Hurungwe legislator, Franco Ndambakuwa was reportedly disqualified due to a rape conviction.
Other unsuccessful candidates were Clever Kunonga of Chegutu West, who was struck off the list for his history in the opposition NPF, while Tsikayi Sungano, who wanted to contest against former health minister, Douglas Mombeshora in the Mhangura polls, was barred for failing to meet the minimum five years threshold at senior party level.