Opinion leaders and Zanu PF supporters alike, have boldly asserted that the Kwekwe Central seat would have gone to the ruling party if Kandros Mugabe had been given the chance to contest the elections.
Mugabe, a miner-cum-cleric, who leads Zvipo ZveMweya Apostolic Church had his CV, alongside that of Energy Dhala Ncube, discarded at the eleventh hour after provincial officials from the Midlands felt that the pair had been responsible for the chaotic incidents typifying the Zanu PF Kwekwe District headquarters, in recent times.
Mugabe and Ncube, who is nephew to humiliatingly deposed former state security mister Owen Mudha Ncube, had their CVs rejected at the eleventh hour, leading to the long-ruling party opting for the candidature of surprise aspirant, John Mapurazi, a prominent miner-cum-cleric who fell to the Nelson Chamisa-led candidate, Judith Tobaiwa, in the elections held last Saturday.
But, Zanu PF insiders who spoke to Zwnews said the party would have grabbed the seat which fell vacant following the death of National Patriotic Front (NPF) legislator, Masango ‘Blackman’ Matambanadzo, if Mugabe had been given the chance to participate in the electoral contest.
“It was clear that the seat would have simply gone to Zanu PF if Mugabe was given the chance to contest,” said a party official who spoke to this publication on condition of anonymity.
“Look, the party ended up fielding Mapurazi, a candidate who was not popular with the electorate. Mapurazi is someone who has the infamy of insulting the voters and he did not even try to entice the voters when he was given the mandate to contest the vacant Kwekwe Central seat as the party’s sole electoral candidate. He is well known for spewing out his venom on voters and there was absolutely no way he was going to emerge the victor in those elections. Mugabe had done all the groundwork, albeit the opposition from Dhala who had the support of Mudha and Local Government minister July Moyo,” said the source.
The source further laid the blame on party leader and Zimbabwe strongman, President Emmerson Mnangagwa whom he said does not want to see a ruling party candidate winning the constituency, as this was going to draw comparatives with the 79-year old who fell to Blessing Chebundo in the 2000 parliamentary elections.
Chebundo, then with the MDC of the late Morgan Tsvangirai, beat Mnangagwa in the general elections of 2000 when he was largely considered an outsider in the historic polls.
“The problem lies with Mnangagwa himself. He does not want to see anyone from the party winning the Kwekwe Central seat which he lost to Chebundo in humiliating fashion, some 22 years back. If you still remember, the beef between Mnangagwa and Matambanadzo started after the late MP had defeated Chebundo in the 2013 elections. Matambanadzo ended up having open clashes with Mnangagwa, including one incident where he was slapped by First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa in the glare of the public. So, if Mugabe had been given the chance to participate in the elections, he was definitely going to be on a collision course with his master as he was going to win that election. You must remember that in elections, Kwekwe voters do not really care much about parties, but political personalities. Mugabe, just like Blackman, had covered much ground through his philanthropic activities and Mnangagwa knew that he would win and he decided to have him out of that race,” said the source.
When Mugabe and Dhala’s CVs were rejected at the eleventh hour, the pair said that they were going to rally behind Mapurazi who ended up losing the election to Tobaiwa by a wider margin.
Both Mugabe and Dhala could not immediately respond to questions sent by Zwnews during the time of publishing.
Zanu PF spokesperson, Cornelius Mupereri was also not reachable during the time of writing.