ZANU PF heavyweights — secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, former Information minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and former Matabeleland South governor Angeline Masuku — lost their seats in the party’s central committee after they failed to garner enough votes.
The two join a growing list of senior party members who are believed to be aligned to under fire vice-president Joice Mujuru, which includes Youth and Indigenisation minister Francis Nhema and Minister of State in the Vice-President’s Office Flora Bhuka, who have failed to make it into the central committee
New war veterans’ chairman and Foreign Affairs deputy minister Chris Mutsvangwa also failed to make it into the central committee as results of the elections continued to spring surprises.
Masuku became the first casualty in Bulawayo after she was thumped by VP aspirant Phekezela Mphoko and Charles Chiponda, the provincial secretary for indigenisation.
Chiponda cruised to victory in the first round of voting, garnering 31 votes.
Masuku only managed four votes and abstained from the second round of voting, which saw Mphoko picking up an unassailable 40 votes.
In the same area, Maggie Mukasi and Nacisio Makhulumo who led an abortive vote of no confidence motion on the Callistus Ndlovu led executive, Constance Ndlovu and George Tshabangu fell by the wayside.
The province has been divided into five areas with two winners from each area making it into the powerful Zanu PF organ.
In area four, former Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial chairperson, Killian Sibanda was reportedly elected unopposed with Zanu PF youth league boss Absolom Sikhosana, Alderman David Ndlovu, Khumbulani Mlilo and Langelihle Mathe left to fight it out for the remaining seat.
More surprises were expected as the results continued to trickle in late last night.
Indications were that several bigwigs in Bulawayo had fallen by the wayside.
In Manicaland, Mutasa also failed to garner enough votes to return to the central committee, a defeat that could spell political disaster for the Zanu PF’s fourth top official who had set his eyes on the party’s national chairmanship post.
Four seats were being contested for in the central committee in Makoni district, and Mutasa — considered the Manicaland political godfather — fell by the wayside.
While Mutasa lost, his nemesis and former Zanu PF Manicaland provincial chairman Mike Madiro bounced back, winning a central committee seat, marking a dramatic comeback after a short period in the political wilderness.
Other contestants who qualified in Makoni district are Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, Agriculture minister Joseph Made, Makoni South legislator Mandi Chimene and Florence Majachani.
In an interview, Mutasa conceded defeat, but he alleged that deputy secretary for youth affairs Kudzi Chipanga and Chimene had ganged up against him resulting in his loss.
Mutasa said despite his loss, he would be at a provincial coordinating committee meeting today where sources revealed party members were plotting to bar him from the venue.
Zanu PF officials revealed last night that the news of Mutasa’s defeat had been greeted by wild celebrations with some ruling party supporters toyi-toying in the streets shouting “Makoni district has been liberated”.
In Mashonaland West, Mutsvangwa was thumped in the elections for Norton by Bybit Tsomondo.
In Mhondoro, the ever-fading former Information deputy minister Bright Matonga also lost.
– Staff Reporters/Radio Dialogue