HARARE – The race to replace the late Zanu PF Senator Kumbirai Kangai is intensifying, with rival Zanu PF factions angling to submit a candidate to replace the former politburo member.
Kangai, who was declared a national hero and buried at the National Heroes Acre in August, secured the seat through proportional representation.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has declared Kangai’s Buhera Senate constituency vacant following his death.
According to the Electoral Act, the party that held the seat will nominate a name to Zec to replace Kangai.
However, until now, no names have been presented to Zec by Zanu PF, yet according to the party list, the candidate who is supposed to replace him is former Makoni West MP Shadreck Chipanga.
Chipanga does not reside in Buhera, and the other candidates who can take over from Kangai are Solo Nzuma and Kenneth Madzuturira, who was defeated by Kangai in the Zanu PF primary elections.
Political parties submitted names of people who should become senators in order of preference.
Selection into the Senate was also determined by the number of votes a particular party gets from National Assembly in a given province.
Six senators were to come from each province and a party had to submit six names to Zec.
In terms of the law, the party list submitted must be used if there is a vacancy, meaning there will be no need for a by-election involving registered voters.
Instead, according to section 157(1)(c) of the Constitution, any vacancy in a party-list seat must be filled by a person belonging to the same political party, and of the same gender, as the person who previously held the seat.
This means Kangai’s seat must be filled by a male who belongs to Zanu PF.
The same principle is expected to apply on president of Senate Edna Madzongwe who relinquished her Senate seat following her elevation to head the upper house.
Didymus Mutasa, who is the party’s secretary for admistration, said he was not in a position to speak on the controversy saying he was busy.
However, Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo told the Daily News his party was going to be dealing with the issue soon.
“We are going to be resolving the matter soon,” said Gumbo.