By Elvis Dumba
The Mashonaland West Provincial Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Mary Mliswa-Chikoka has got an upper hand if she decides to stand for the Provincial Party Chairperson position as most districts have endorsed her candidature.
The majority of ZANU PF supporters in Mashonaland West have revealed that Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Mary Mliswa-Chikoka will get an easy victory for the post of Party Provincial Chairperson position if she chooses to stand for the position.
ZANU PF is set to elect a substantive Provincial Chairperson after the seat fell vacant following the elevation of former provincial chairperson Ziyambi Ziyambi to the Politburo.
Most people who spoke to this publication have revealed that they would welcome a female Provincial chairperson and said Mliswa-Chikoka is the right candidate if she avails herself for the post.
“Mliswa-Chikoka is humble, result-oriented and embraces everyone in the party with equality and if she avails herself for the position surely we will vote for her as she has already displayed her competency in her position as our Provincial Minister of State where her open-door policy has been helping us as a province to solve various challenges,” a Siakobvu based district chairperson who requested not to be identified said.
In Zvimba, various party district chairpersons said Mliswa-Chikoka has not been tainted with factional political wars making her the ideal candidate for the post.
“We used to have factions in the past even though President Emerson Mnangagwa has called upon us to unite as one family. Some people feel they still have to play out their revenge for factional wars that occurred in the previous administration and would like to use party positions to score past differences, a situation that is not so with Mary Mliswa-Chikoka,” said a district chairperson.
Many senior ZANU (PF) male party supporters said they will rally behind Mliswa-Chikoka if she decides to stand for the provincial chairperson position.
“We will definitely rally behind her candidature if she gives us a chance by standing for the position as we have witnessed that she is a selfless, determined cadre who is committed to advancing the party’s agenda unlike others who are self-centered and looking fo self-enrichment opportunities at the expense of others,” another party official said.
Mary Mliswa-Chikoka is the current Mashonaland West Province’s Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution. She has not indicated that she will stand for the position although there has been a lot of bidding for her to stand for the position.
Mliswa-Chikoka can easily get the position if she stands for the position as she has massive support from Zvimba, Chegutu, Sanyati, Kariba, and Hurungwe districts with most constituency members of parliament also throwing their weight behind her according to reports gathered by this publication.
“The way she has tackled various challenges in the province like the land issue speaks volumes on her competency and definitely she deserves the post. People will not be lost by choosing a motherly figure in her and we just hope she will accept the opportunity to represent us as the party’s Provincial chairperson. I believe that will help accelerate the party and government programs in the constituency,” a sitting member of Parliament said and requested to remain anonymous. The party has gagged its members from campaigning for positions or promoting other candidates.
A former cabinet minister from Mashonaland West also suggested that Mliswa-Chikoka is the ideal candidate for the chairperson position.
” If you look at the crop of names being thrown around for the position, Mliswa-Chikoka has everything it takes to be the provincial chairperson. The other candidate is coming from the youth league which is far different from the party’s main wing as the position comes with more responsibility that needs a mature person to handle.
“The current acting provincial chairperson is not popular with people as some districts are hearing of his name for the first time. That is a minus for him and leaves Mliswa as the only suitable candidate for that post. Mliswa-Chhikoka can easily steer the party in the province with ease. People are aware of some people in the top party positions who are trying to have their own candidate for them to capture the province through the provincial chairperson. The majority of party members are against having a candidate who is known to be captured like what happened in the party’s district coordinating committee elections where members rejected captured candidates,” he noted
Vengai Musengi, the current provincial youth chairperson, and Abie Mujeri the current acting provincial chairperson are some of the people expected to run for the position.
Meanwhile, Affirmative Action Group Vice President Passion Java has endorsed the candidature of Mliswa-Chikoka which resulted in the resignation of the organization member, Delish Nguwaya of Drax International who preferred Musengi. According to his resignation letter, he said he has personal relations with Musengi.
ZANU PF has not yet fixed the dates for the elections to choose the Provincial Chairperson though information gathered is that provincial elections are expected to be held before the party’s national people’s conference to be held in October 2021.