BY NICHOLAS NCUBE
2019 was an interesting political year for Zimbabwe. A lot of political pieces were moved, words exchanged and power moves made through out the year. 2019 politically belonged to ZANU PF who cemented their power and won most of the by elections they participated in. The year also saw a meterioric rise of Mthwakazi Republic Party and the MDC remains solidly set as the leading opposition party in the country.
Here are the top 10 political players in 2019 from both parties:
1. Obert Mpofu in his capacity as National Secretary for Administration. Dr Mpofu led ZANU PF through the following successful projects
. The meeting of Former Liberation Movements which hosted ANC, FRELIMO, MPLA, SWAPO and CCM of Tanzania. They held a successful meeting in Victoria Falls which ran under the theme Uniting former liberation movements against neo colonialism through total economic cooperation, development and independence.
. Dr Mpofu successfully presided over the Anti Sanctions Day with ANC cadres who included Secretary General Ace Magashule.
. The Secretary for Administration successfully presided over the organisation and hosting of a successful National People’s Conference, delegates spoke highly of the organisation and order at the conference
. In his capacity as Secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu and the commissar lead Team ZANU PF to successful by elections
. The secretary for Administration ensured that the party ran smoothly, paying salaries and handling all administrative tasks of a mammoth organisation such as ZANU PF is not easy, while battling youths who threatened to lock him out of the office over unsubstantiated corruption claims.
2. Victor Matemadanda makes it on the list. He was promoted to the position of National Political Commissar and hit the ground running. Matemadanda has addressed several party gatherings and has been visible on the ground than most party cadres. Matemadanda has comfortably settled into his role and presided over the return of DCCs in Harare province.
3. Patrick Chinamasa in his capacity as secretary for Finance has had the difficult task of ensuring that the party had enough funds for it to function, his partnership with Dr Obert Mpofu has seen the party grow and improve administratively.
4. Pupurai Togarepi as Chief Whip and Secretary for Youth league has been very visible on the ground and in the media.
5. Ambassador SK Moyo has been the best party Spokesperson, fielding media questions and articulating party policy and decisions in a clear manner. He has welcomed and entertains all media houses and even those that are critical of the ruling party.
6. Dexter Nduna though controversial he is the most vocal ZANU PF MP in parliament. HON Nduna has raised pertinent issues and made useful contributions to debates in parliament.
7. Tendai Chirau the Youth league Secretary for Administration has been visible on the ground, and in the media. Chirau was one of the few party leaders who went out to address people on sanctions, their effect and damage caused on the economy. Chirau had challenged Harare city Council and other government departments, speaking truth to power on behalf of young people.
8. Sthembiso Nyoni has been visible on the ground with bread making, and other women empowerment projects which have improved livelihoods among the women of Zimbabwe.
9. Ezra Chadzamira has organised successful party events in Masvingo and presided over one of the most united provinces at the moment. Masvingo has been the home of factionalism and in 2019 there were no reports of factions or political fights in the province.
10. Charity Manyeruke has represented the party well at home and abroad.
1. Nelson Chamisa has managed to keep the MDC united after a Congress which some felt would split the party. Chamisa continues to inspire hope amongst his political support base. Chamisa has out performed all his lieutenants, putting maximum effort to further the cause of the MDC
2. Tendai Biti has stood up and debated on critical issues, he has also brought up a strong challenge and demanded accountability in the parliamentary portfolio committee he chairs.
3. Fortune Molokele has been the most available MDC Spokesperson, he takes calls from the media and will answer questions at any given time or day. Molokele has been articulate and has represented the party well on the many media platforms he has been invited to.
4. Fadzai Mahere the most vocal and engaging MDC national executive member on social media. She commands a huge audience and following which have made her a voice worth listening to and observing.
5. David Coltart has had the huge task of putting the MDC’s financial house in order. Renovations at Morgan Tsvangirai House show that Coltart is on top of the situation.
6. Charlton Hwende as the Secretary General has been visible mostly on social media, and engaging with the electorate.
7. Job Sikhala the controversial MDC Vice Chairman is popular for his bravado and courage as he is the only National executive member who has stood out and challenged the Emmerson Mnangagwa regime to a point of offering an ultimatum to the Mnangagwa government.
8. Sesel Zvidzai the media shy MDC national executive member popularised the SMART Cities policy and held successful trainings with City leaders before he was moved to a new portfolio where he is settling in and engaging with entrepreneurs to understand their challenges, dreams and aspirations.
9. Tinashe Kambarami, the controversial Bulawayo Deputy Mayor has articulated City issues and stood for what he believed in even though it nearly cost him his position. Kambarami refused to be bullied on tribal grounds and stood firmly for what he felt was best for the people of Bulawayo, this is a very quality in politicians who choose to stand in the comfortable position of public opinion.
10. Lillian Timveos, the little known Lillian has held her own in the political sphere, addressing local and international MDC events and articulating party positions while being visible on the ground.
Notable political players
1. Mqondisi Moyo of Mthwakazi Republic Party has been very visible on the ground and establishing a notable support base in the Matebeleland area. MRP has grown in popularity and overshadowed ZAPU and MLO.
2. Obert Gutu has been visible on social media engaging the masses and causing controversy. His opinions have made him a notable figure in the political space on social media.
3. Nkosana Moyo despite losing the elections Nkosana Moyo continues to engage Zimbabweans articulating his beliefs, he is a notable name that has remained visible and relevant.
4. Ntokozo Msipa Tyson Wabantu Movement. The Tyson Wabantu movement began a social media project and made it to the streets as well as the Politburo boardroom. The movement was rubbished by some, yet it has grown in numbers and is now part of the political debate in Zimbabwe.
5. Linda Masarira, the controversial LEAD leader remains a noticeable figure at national events and remains a vocal political contributor.
1. Z. Ziyambi – Justice has been one of the busiest ministers marshaling legal issues, managing statutory instruments as well as government business in Parliament. He has brought order to the Anti Corruption fight and legal circuit.
2. M. Ncube – Finance, has had the difficult task of creating miracles to keep the economy going and ensure that inflation does not go back to hyper inflation levels of 2008
3. W. Chitando – Mining
4. M. Mutsvangwa- Information
5. A. Murwira – Higher Education
6. K. Kazembe – Home Affairs
7. O. Ncube – State Security
8. P. Shiri – Agriculture
9. O. Muchinguri-Kashiri – Defence
10. K. Coventry – Youth
Best Deputy Ministers
1. E. Mutodi – Information, Mutodi has come out and defended some of the most unpopular government positions. Mutodi is not the People’s favorite voice but he stands for his government and executes his role as part of the spin machinery
2. P. Kambamura – Mining
3. V. Haritatos – Agriculture
4. M. Mudiwa – Energy
5. V. Matemadanda – Defence
6. J. Mhlanga – Local government
7. D. Karoro –
8. L. Matuke – Social Welfare
9. R. Modi – Industry and Commerce
10. T. Machakaire – Youth
1. R. Moyo – Mat North
2. M. Mliswa-Chikoka – Mash West
3. A. Munzverengi – Mash East
4. E. Gwaradzimba – Manicaland
5. L. Mavhima – Midlands
6. O. Chidhawu – Harare
7. J. Ncube – Bulawayo
8. E. Chadzamira – Masvingo
9. M. Mavhunga – Mash Central
10. A. Ncube – Mat South
Nicholas Ncube is a political researcher and blogger based in Ontario Canada