WITH an internal disciplinary hearing lingering over him, Zanu PF Masvingo provincial chairperson Lovemore Matuke continues to be haunted by expelled Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke’s shadow as jostling for provincial posts hots up ahead of elections slated for end of this month.
Matuke said he would consider seeking re-election if people convince him to stand.
Matuke got his fingers burnt after allegedly signing nomination papers for Kereke for the July 31 polls ahead of the party’s preferred candidate Elias Musakwa.
As a result, Zanu PF fielded two candidates. Also in the firing line with Matuke is provincial secretary for administration Edmund Tsungai Mhere.
“I may stand if the people convince me to stand. Remember, it is the people who decide, not me, so I’m still waiting to be given the nod by the people,” Matuke said.
Matuke allegedly belongs to Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction as it battles Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s group to succeed President Robert Mugabe, who in all reality is serving his last term as president.
Sources say the Mujuru faction is fighting hard to regain the post and is trying to use the Kereke debacle to oust Matuke whose followers are defending him saying the party regained “one-party State” status in Masvingo under him and it would be foolhardy to destroy the “winning formula”.
Matuke took over from the late retired army major Alex Mudavanhu, who was linked to the Mujuru faction.
“Those fighting from Matuke’s corner are arguing that he should retain the seat since the party won in Masvingo under him, regaining seats which had gone to the MDC-T.
It’s like making substitutions in a team that is playing well and winning and thus disturbing the flow of the game,” a source said.
Names of those vying for the chairmanship are believed to include retired Brigadier-General Killian Gwanetsa and Tourism minister Walter Mzembi, who are both linked to the Mujuru faction, and retired major-general Gibson Mashingaidze from the Mnangagwa group.
Gwanetsa confirmed that he was interested in the post provided the people give him the mandate.
“If the people of Masvingo give me the mandate, I will take up the post. It is people who decide and if they want me to serve them, I will take up the post,” Gwanetsa said.
Mashingaidze believes he should be the next chairman.