Takunda Maodza in Harare and George Maponga in Masvingo
Zanu-PF appointed Cde Joram Gumbo yesterday as the interim chairperson for Masvingo, as three candidates have so far expressed their interest to contest for the provincial chairmanship in fresh elections that were ordered by the Politburo on Wednesday.
Cde Gumbo is expected to lead the province’s restructuring exercise and the process of holding the elections for the full provincial committee.
The Politburo dissolved the Masvingo provincial executive and called for fresh elections after a third of its members left their positions for various reasons.
There was confusion in the province when Cde Ezra Chadzamira was co-opted recently as the substantive chairman, taking over from Cde Amasa Nhenjana, who was acting.
Chivi Rural District Council chairman Dr Killer Zivhu said he was ready to contest for the top provincial party position, as was Cde Chadzamira and Cde Nhenjana.
Dr Zivhu, who was the provincial secretary for finance in the dissolved executive, said:
“I am more than prepared to lead Zanu-PF in Masvingo and to all ruling party youths, women and other members, this is the time to choose a leader who can deliver tangible results to the people of our great province.
“With the completion of Tokwe-Mukosi Dam and the rehabilitation of the Harare-Beitbridge Road, all is set for the uplifiting of the province and we need a person with a clear developmental vision. It is time for Zanu-PF members to elect a person with a clear agenda for poverty alleviation and programmes that will uplift them and create a green belt in Masvingo using the dam and Command Agriculture.”
Cde Chadzamira said he was excited by the decision to call for fresh elections in Masvingo.
‘’I want to thank our party President and First Secretary Cde Mugabe for making sure that the Politburo came up with a decision that called for fresh elections in Zanu-PF in Masvingo,” he said. “I personally think that it was a good decision which will further strengthen our party as we go for elections next year.
“I will always be available to lead Zanu-PF in Masvingo if people ask me to. I will contest the provincial chairmanship elections in Masvingo if that is the will of the people.’’
Cde Nhenjana expressed his readiness to contest.
“The decision by the Politburo was the best solution for Masvingo because leaders who have the mandate of the people on the ground will emerge after fresh elections are held,’’ he said.
Party leaders from the province yesterday said fresh elections to choose new provincial executive office bearers would bring on board leaders with the full confidence of the people.
Zanu-PF Politburo member and Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Senator Shuvai Mahofa said the move to hold fresh elections was a harbinger of good times for the ruling party in the province. “We cannot continue to have a small executive of imposed people in our party and I think holding fresh elections will further strengthen our party as they will have the full confidence of the people,’’ said Cde Mahofa.
Zanu-PF secretary for Administration Cde Ignatius Chombo said no one would be barred from contesting the fresh elections in Masvingo.
Senior Zanu-PF politburo member in Masvingo Cde Josaya Hungwe said the province wanted fresh elections to be held as soon as possible.
“Everyone will be free to participate in the elections and all the posts in the executive will be up for grabs,” he said. “Politburo member Cde Joram Gumbo will preside over the polls and we will have a preparatory meeting for the polls soon.
“We are quite heartened with the decision for fresh elections and President Mugabe was quite emphatic in the Politburo that leaders should come from the people instead of being appointed.’’
Zanu-PF national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere said Cde Gumbo was expected to descend on Masvingo on Sunday.
“We appointed Gumbo as our interim leader leading to (provincial) elections,” he said. “Additional appointments would be made to help him. He will have other members of the party who will help him.”
Cde Kasukuwere said Cde Gumbo had worked for the party in Masvingo before, hence his appointment.