HARARE – Controversial businessman Munyaradzi Kereke’s bid for Parliament on a Zanu PF ticket was thwarted by the party’s politburo on Wednesday.
The party argued that he was not qualified to represent the former ruling party.
Kereke has for almost a year, been on the ground campaigning for a political seat in Bikita West.
Initially, he wanted to be senator but later decided to challenge Elias Musakwa for the right to represent Zanu PF in the Parliamentary elections.
The Daily News has been told that Kereke’s Curriculum Vitae was turned down by the Zanu PF politburo which felt that he did not qualify to be a candidate.
Zanu PF insiders said the majority in the politburo quickly rejected Kereke’s CV when it was presented to them for vetting.
Musakwa yesterday confirmed to the Daily News that he had been chosen by Zanu PF ahead of Kereke.
“Yes, I will represent Zanu PF in the parliamentary elections after Kereke’s bid was turned down. I’m already preparing for national elections where it is a foregone conclusion that I will win,” said Musakwa.
Kereke, a Zimpapers board member, has been on a warpath with his ex-boss, Gideon Gono after he was forced to leave the institution for yet unspecified reasons. At the time, Kereke said he would be seconded to a top government post.
The controversial businessman has had running battles with journalists and has pending lawsuits with almost every private newspaper including the Daily News over a number of issues that include the yet-to-be-resolved child rape allegations.
He is also facing two defamation charges from Gono for alleging that his former boss was a thief.
The founder and owner of the recently closed Greencard Medical Aid Society and the state-of-the-art Rock Foundation Medical Centre, also clashed with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Finance minister Tendai Biti.
Both Tsvangirai and Biti said Kereke was the source of a scheme to have them arrested for an alleged theft of $1,5 million from government under a VIP housing scheme.
Kereke has in the past denied that he was the source of the ill-fated sting operation saying he had nothing to do with the issue.
The $1,5 million “fraud” turned out to be a farce as details emerged that actually Tsvangirai had been extended a loan.
Zanu PF sources said Kereke’s controversial behaviour and allegations of rape levelled against him could have cost him the right to represent the party. – Staff Writer