Makoni candidates bury the hatchet
Samuel Kadungure Manicaland Bureau
ZANU-PF has initiated a “heal the wounds” programme in Makoni District in which winning and losing candidates in the just-ended primaries met and resolved to work together in preparation for harmonised elections.
The meetings which were held in four of the five constituencies are the brainchild of the commissariat department and have managed to bring harmony among candidates and their supporters.
The discussions were centred on fostering unity between winning and losing candidates before shifting focus to the general election, which everybody expects to be peaceful, free, fair and credible as demanded by President Mnangagwa.
The candidates also encouraged people to register and vote.
The gospel of unity, which was preached by Central Committee members who were despatched by the deputy national political commissar, Cde Omega Hungwe, was met with smiles and polite nods from the warring parties — especially in political hotbeds of Makoni West and Headlands where some losing candidates were still spoiling for a fight.
Central Committee member Cde Supa Mandiwanzira addressed party supporters at Headlands Growth Point to bridge the rift between Cde Chris Chingosho and the six losing candidates.
Cde Mandiwanzira later pledged 10 computers to Mt Camel High School.
In Makoni West, Cde Josephine Gandiya and veteran freedom fighter, Cde Norman Bethune, managed to resolve the spat between parliamentary candidate Cde Jennifani Muswere and the six losing rivals.
The meeting buttressed a joint resolution, made on Friday by war veterans, ex-detainees and war collaborators in the constituency to rally behind President Mnangagwa, Cde Muswere, Cde Lucia Chitura (proportional representation), Shadreck Chipanga (Senate) and Bongani Nemaire (Women’s Quota).
In Makoni North, party supporters attended a meeting at Tanda Rest Camp, which was jointly addressed by the sitting legislator, Cde Francis Muchenje and party candidate Cde James Munetsi.
Cde Muchenje, who accepted defeat, pledged full support for Cde Munetsi and officially handed over some outstanding projects to him.
“Cde Munetsi is the Zanu-PF candidate in the next elections,” said Cde Muchenje.
“I lost fairly to him and we should all rally behind him and President Mnangagwa. Zanu-PF should retain the seat and I will hand over all the outstanding projects I was doing to Cde Munetsi.”
In Makoni South, about 3 000 party supporters gathered at Nyazura Growth Point, eclipsing a poorly attended rally recently addressed by MDC Alliance president Mr Nelson Chamisa at Rukweza.
Outgoing Nyanga North legislator, Cde Hubert Nyanhongo implored party supporters to bury the hatchet and throw their weight behind President Mnangagwa and parliamentary candidate Cde Misheck Mataranyika.
“The huge crowd here shows that the party is strong and enthused (in Makoni South),” said Cde Mataranyika.
“I want to thank the losing candidates for working with the winners because Zanu-PF is bigger than individuals.
“There are no winners and losers in Zanu-PF. It is Zanu-PF that has won at the end of the day and the will of the people must always be respected.
“A divided house cannot stand. The guiding concept to victory is to stay united.
“When there is unity, people are in agreement and act together for a particular purpose — in our case a resounding victory for President Mnangagwa, Cde Mataranyika and all our aspiring councillors in Makoni South.”
Cde Nyanhongo said persistent calls by President Mnangagwa for an environment of peaceful coexistence must be heeded.
He said it was only in a climate of tolerance, acceptance and tranquillity that Zanu-PF could score a resounding victory in Makoni district.
Cde Nyanhongo hailed President Mnangagwa for democratising and transforming the party by parting ways with recycled stock that was a liability and taking on board new dynamic and progressive players that voters looked to for a fresh start.