State security minister Owen Mudha Ncube has dropped out of the race for the Zanu PF Midlands provincial chairmanship as the deadly internecine fights for control of the party heats up following the indefinite postponement of provincial polls last month.
He is now backing former national youth league deputy secretary member Edson Chiherenge Chakanyuka.
Mudha had earlier indicated his intention to challenge the incumbent, Daniel Mackenzie Ncube.
Zanu-PF sources told NewZimbabwe.com Thursday that things were going haywire in the province amid heavyweight clashes between Local Government minister July Moyo and his long-term nemesis Joram Gumbo who both claim to be the godfathers of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s home province.
Mudha belongs to the July Moyo camp while Mackenzi-Ncube belongs to Gumbo’s faction, according to insiders.
“The tussles must be understood in their proper context. We are hearing that Cde Chiherenge is going to run for the provincial post to replace Mackenzie. However, it must be known that Mackenzie himself is not a pushover. Mackenzie is well respected within the provincial party structures. Even the president has high regard and trust of Cde Mackenzie,” a source said.
“The issue is not about Cde Chiherenge assuming the chairman post, it is about minister Moyo controlling the province. He needs someone he can trust to do his bidding once elected provincial chairperson. Their view then is that Chiherenge is a perfect man for the job and this is why Mudha has had to drop out.” the source said.
July Moyo last month caused a storm after he met with perceived faction rign leaders Mudha, Chiherenge and Vongai Mupereri among others at his farm outside Kwekwe where they hatched a plan to wrest control of the province.
The meeting jolted Mackenzie-Ncube into action as he rushed to issue a statement castigating opponents.
“Elections are usually characterised by high emotions and tempers however, we have to know that what unites us is much more than what divides us. What unites us, is us being Zanu-PF. The Zanu-PF culture emphasis unity more than individualism. 0As a provincial leader my emphasis has been and will be cohesion, unity, loyalty peace and development.”
“We are our brothers keepers in Zanu-PF, united we stand divided we fall. We are Zimbabweans first as a provincial leader I have maintained and I still maintain and I will maintain that no to tribalism- this is the Midlands.
“Our focus is on 2023 – which is the undisputed win for President Mnangagwa,” Mackenzie said at the time. New Zimbabwe.com