Nduduzo Tshuma Senior Political Reporter
FIVE Zanu-PF bigwigs, Cdes Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, Didymus Mutasa, Angeline Masuku, Absalom Sikhosana and Munacho Mutezo fell by the wayside yesterday as they lost in the Central Committee elections.Cde Ndlovu contested in Area 3 where former Bulawayo provincial secretary for information and publicity Cde Michael Sikhosana and Cde Joseph Tshuma emerged winners.
Cde Masuku lost in Area 5 where former Ambassador to South Africa Cde Phelekezela Mphoko, who is eyeing the Zanu-PF second vice presidency and provincial secretary for finance Cde Charles Chiponda were voted in.
Cde Emmanuel Kanjoma and Politburo members Cde Tshinga Dube and Cde Joshua Malinga also won in Area 1.
In Area 4 Cde Absalom Sikhosana lost as former Bulawayo provincial chairperson Cde Killian Sibanda and former Bulawayo Mayor, Alderman David Ndlovu were victorious.
In Area 2, Cdes Anna Moyo and Godfrey Malaba also made it into the Central Committee.
The 11 victorious Bulawayo province members join Cdes Mpehlabayo Malinga, Butholezwe Ngwenya, Sibongile Sibanda and Rosie Phiri who are members of the national youth and Women’s League for places in the Central Committee. Those who made it on the women’s quota are Cdes Violet Ncube, Canisia Satiya, Atilia Mangoye, Ebby Dube and Eylyss Nhowedza.
Bulawayo provincial affairs minister Cde Nomthandazo Eunice Moyo, made it to the Central Committee by virtue of her election as deputy secretary for women’s affairs at the recent Zanu-PF Women’s League congress.
In closing remarks following the announcement of results at Davies Hall yesterday, Dr Ndlovu conceded defeat. He said nobody was a loser after the polls and called for unity among party members.
He urged the newly elected Central Committee members to carry on the legacy of President Mugabe.
Cde Absalom Sikhosana was overheard saying to colleagues, “It happens in politics.”
Cde Moyo who oversaw the polls said the elections were free, fair and had been conducted in a peaceful environment. She said there had been no complaints at all the polling areas.
She urged the newly elected Central Committee members to work on bringing unity in the party.
She said Bulawayo province was allocated only 11 Central Committee positions due to their poor performance in last year’s elections.
“If a provincial council was to be formed in Bulawayo now, only me and Cde Masuku would be included and the rest are MDC-T councillors. There is nothing much we can do to block their motions,” said Cde Moyo.
She said the Central Committee played an overseer role in the province and members should not be found trying to run the structure.
She said they should only intervene when they feel that there are serious issues that need to be addressed.
Cde Moyo said all Central Committee members had equal status and nobody was better than the other.
In Matabeleland North heavyweights like Politburo members Dr Obert Mpofu, Professor Jonathan Moyo, Cde Cain Mathema, Cde Jacob Mudenda, Cde Thokozile Mathuthu and Cde Sithembiso Nyoni were elected unopposed.
Our Mutare Bureau reports that Politburo members linked to embattled Vice-President, Dr Joice Mujuru, Cdes Didymus Mutasa and Munacho Mutezo were rejected by their respective constituencies.
The two received the least number of votes among the contesting candidates. In Makoni, Cde Mutasa polled 85 votes, Dr Joseph Made (163), Cde Majachani (169), Cde Patrick Chinamasa (177) and Cde Mandi Chimene (141).
In Chimanimani, Cde Mutezo had 39 votes, while his rivals, Cde Joshua Sacco and Esther Chikuni had 59 and 61 votes respectively.
Before the elections, Zanu-PF supporters in Chimanimani and Makoni tried to stop Cdes Mutasa and Mutezo from contesting arguing that they were not fit to hold any high posts in the party because of their alleged involved in the regime change agenda.
In Makoni a primary election had to be held to choose a candidate to represent Headlands after Cde Chris Chingosho had shown interest in the slot.
Although Cde Mutasa won the primary election, Cde Chingosho refused to accept the outcome, saying Cde Mutasa had manipulated the system to rig the election.
Cde Chingosho also accused Colonel Mutasa of bussing supporters to rally behind Cde Mutasa. There were also complaints of vote-buying after members aligned to Cde Mutasa were given free food handouts at the venue of the elections.
In Zimunya-Marange former Zanu-PF Manicaland provincial chairman, Cde Mike Madiro whose suspension from the party was lifted recently was voted as a new central committee member together with Cdes Chris Mushohwe, Fred Kanzama and Nyasha Chikwinya.
In Mutare, transport mogul, Cde Isau Mupfumi retained his seat and was joined by academic, Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba.
In Nyanga, former legislator, Cde Paul Kadzima and Nyanga North Member of National Assembly, Cde Hubert Nyanhongo were voted as the new central committee members.
In Buhera, Cdes Joseph Chinotimba, Saul Nzuma and William Mutomba sailed through, while in Chipinge, Cdes Sakabuya, Win Mlambo and John Chirimambowa are the new office holders.
Results from Mutasa were not available at the time of going to Press, but all the new central committee members will be announced during a provincial co-ordination committee meeting to be held at Mutare Polytechnic today.