MASVINGO – More Zanu PF stalwarts remain positive that incumbent Masvingo provincial chairperson Lovemore Matuke will retain his post at party elections scheduled for the end of this month.
With Matuke facing disciplinary action for allegedly defying the party leadership by signing expelled Bikita west legislator, Munyaradzi Kereke’s nomination papers, the provincial chairperson said he was weighing his options.
“I haven’t made up my mind as yet but if the people push me and express a confidence vote on my leadership and want to retain me, I will listen to them,” said Matuke, who is also the Gutu Central lawmaker.
The Daily News understands there was a plot to oust Matuke but it was falling flat after Zanu PF’s clean sweep, scooping all 26 parliamentary seats in the province.
Factionalism and infighting in Masvingo Province is intense as Vice President Joice Mujuru’s faction fronted by politburo member Dzikamai Mavhaire is at loggerheads with the rival Emerson Munangagwa faction, fronted by Josiah Hungwe.
The Daily News understands among officials jockeying for the post in the province include retired major general, Gibson Mashingaidze and retired brigadier general, Killian Gwanetsa.
Walter Mzembi, Tourism minister, is also touted as a strong contender for the post.
Mashingaidze confirmed his interest.
“I am the most deserving person to lead the Zanu PF ship in the province,” he told the Daily News.
“I think you know that I am the most senior war veteran in the province who was a provincial commander during the liberation war. My achievements also as a general with lots of hours are enough attributes of a good leader and the people in Masvingo have expressed confidence in me so that’s why I am vying for the post,” said Mashingaidze, who is now a sugar cane farmer.
Gwanetsa, the Chiredzi South legislator, was a bit subtle when asked to confirm his interests.
“For now I can’t say much, actually it’s not for me to say I want to lead Zanu PF but if the party people feel that I can lead them and want me to do so then I will not reject their will,” he said.
Daniel Shumba, former provincial chairperson and Masvingo Urban legislator, said he was tipping Matuke to retain the chair given what he did in the July 31 vote.
“You don’t remove someone who successfully marshalled his forces through such landmark elections,” Shumba told the Daily News.
“He was at the helm of the party, so takes credit for the overwhelming win.”