EX-Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono’s bid to land a Zanu PF senatorial seat in Manicaland suffered a heavy knock after the party’s Manicaland province dumped him over the weekend.
The province also recommended that former provincial chairman Mike Madiro should bounce back in the same capacity to replace fired chairman Ambassador John Mvundura.
The central committee members from the province led by newly-appointed Higher and Tertiary Education minister Oppah Muchinguri instead recommended former Central Intelligence Organisation deputy director general and Home Affairs deputy minister Shadreck Chipanga to take over the post and replace the late Buhera Senator Kumbirai Kangai.
However, Chipanga yesterday said he had not yet been briefed on the matter, while Gono’s mobile phone went unanswered.
The Zanu PF politburo early this year endorsed Gono to replace Kangai before the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission blocked the move, arguing that he was not a registered voter in Manicaland province.
The legal impediment was later cleared paving the way for Gono to assume the post, only for Muchinguri’s team to send his political ambitions skidding again following reports linking him to fired ex-Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s camp.
Party insiders said the decision to dump Gono and recall Madiro was made soon after a provincial co-ordinating committee (PCC) meeting held at Marymount Teacher’s college in Mutare on Saturday.
Madiro, who was reportedly a close ally of newly-appointed Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, told NewsDay yesterday that he was still to be advised of the new development.
During the PCC meeting, members openly chided the party’s former secretary for administration and fired Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa with provincial deputy youth chair Mubuso Chinguno proposing that all fired members, including expelled Energy deputy minister Munacho Mutezo, be suspended from the party for five years.
Before he was suspended from the party last year, Madiro and his then deputy Dorothy Mabika had crossed swords with Mutasa who accused both of them of corruption and stealing President Robert Mugabe’s birthday gifts.
The matter was, however, dismissed by the court.
Under the new order, Madiro will now be deputised by Energy minister Samuel Undenge, who was acting chairman after a vote of no confidence was passed on Mvundura in the build up to the party’s 6th congress early this month.
Mabika is set to bounce back as provincial secretary for administration, replacing Kenneth Saruchera whose future hangs in the balance for reportedly being linked to Mujuru.
Although Muchinguri and Undenge could not be reached for comment as their mobile phones went unanswered, sources told NewsDay that the elevation of Madiro and others on Saturday was likely to be challenged as it was not done procedurally.
Party sources said the matter was supposed to have been handled by the provincial executive.
During the meeting, Muchinguri, now viewed as the most senior provincial party member after the ouster of Mutasa, warned officials against aligning themselves to the Mujuru camp.
“Zanu PF eats its own eggs. You saw the dismissal of those people (Mujuru allies) and whatever you do, you should know that you cannot beat Zanu PF,” she said. “Let this be a warning to others and please I warn you: Don’t just follow things, follow the President alone.”
The province also set up a taskforce to go round the province briefing party structures on reasons that caused Mujuru to be relieved of her party and government duties. Mugabe last week accused Mujuru of plotting to topple and assassinate him, but the latter denied the charges.