Nicholas Goche, Zanu pf’s incumbent Member of the House of Assembly for Shamva North faces a tough race in the ruling party’s upcoming primary elections.
The race for the Shamva North constituency has attracted three other candidates: former journalist and academic, Stanley Karombo, school drop out Zex Pamacheche and Oscar Gorerino, a gold panner.
The upcoming harmonised elections expected for later this year have opened up opportunities for up-coming politicians who say they are geared up to deliver on developmental projects and programs in various constituencies. However, they face competition from the old guard politicians who want to extend their reign.
Each of the four candidates claims to be the best placed to deliver for the constituency but come May 5, voters will decide who takes the mantle.
“I come as a servant of the people. I will abide by their interests and I will deliver their messages and cries to the relevant authorities in parliament. Many of my colleagues are promising heaven on earth, leadership goes beyond that, it is serving the people,” said Karombo.
Karombo could beat his contestants by a wide margin if the elections were to be held today, say villagers in the constituency.
“He is well known because of his popularity, academic record and he is a crowd puller,” said Kudzani Kuronga, a villager in Nyamaropa. “This gives him an edge over others,” he said.
But Karombo’s surge in support in the constituency has radically altered the political landscape. This, therefore, is a time and opportunity for Karombo and a taxing time for Goche who is widely seen as a spend- force within the ruling Zanu- PF party.
Karombo (46), a media graduate of Witwatersrand University, South Africa, is one of the new generation of Zimbabwe politicians.
Widely billed as a two-horse race, Goche will be hugely disappointed to see his campaign fizzle out and his support drop in a constituency where Zanu PF is expected to comfortably retain the seat.
A head-to-head clash with the Goche in this strongly Zanu PF constituency was always going to be a tough task for Goche, who is nicodemously canvassing for another term despite all odds against him.
The sitting MP is embattled as he is alleged to have put several tonnes of fertilisers meant to be donated to local farmers (under the Presidential input scheme) into Eben Dam in Shamva, fearing a then impending audit.
He also was relieved of his ministerial post by former president Robert Mugabe on accusations of attempting to assassinate him and being a member of “Gamatox”, a faction that belonged to the then vice president, Joyce Mujuru. He was this month linked to the newly formed National Patriotic Front, led by Ambrose Mutinhiri, which he however denied.
Karombo says he is “quietly confident” that he can wrestle power from the embattled incumbent Shamva North parliamentarian. “I’m hearing the right things on the door. I am not hearing anything to suggest a fall in our voter numbers,” he says.
He says he has major plans for the voters once elected into power. “As a constituency, we have many things that we have not yet addressed, we have problems and I believe with the help of our people, we shall fix them. We need to embark on socio-economic development of our area at large,” he adds.
Born in 1971, Karombo has travelled extensively in Africa, Europe and America presenting academic papers at various fora as well as in his journalistic duties. He was educated in New Zealand for his under graduate, BA (hon) degree in Journalism and Media studies, MA degree in Journalism and Media Studies at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. He is also reading for his PhD in Media studies with the same university.
Karombo wants to address youth unemployment and create opportunities for many others, including women, in the constituency.
Addressing local voters after submitting his C.V to the Zanu PF provincial commissariat, he said: “I will not let you down.”
“To my party I offer these thoughts: humility when we win, modesty when we are proved right. If we speak with passion, let it always be tempered by compassion.”