THE Zanu PF Midlands provincial elections pitting State Security minister Owen Mudha Ncube (pictured) and incumbent Daniel McKenzie Ncube has taken a new dimension, amid reports the former has chickened out to pave way for his ally, The NewsHawks can report.
Initially, Mudha Ncube had shown interest in challenging the current provincial chairperson Mackenzie Ncube as the battle for the control of the Midlands intensifies.
But in a sudden turn of events, Mudha Ncube has given a nod to former youth league leader Edison Chakanyuka to contest Mackenzie Ncube.
Mudha Ncube’s supporters have since redirected their campaign in support of Chakanyuka.
Key Mudha Ncube campaigner Philemon Safalan last week notified party members to support Chakanyuka, saying he was now the “key candidate for Midlands provincial chairperson post”.
“Cde Ncube has utilised all intelligence to pave the ground for Cde Chakanyuka and let us all support Cde Chiherenge Chakanyuka as he is now our provincial chairman candidate,” Safalan notified party members of a WhatsApp group dubbed “Endorsement of Mudha”.
Following his announcement there has been a spirited campaign for Chakanyuka, with one party member declaring that “Owen Mudha Ncube and Chakanyuka were one and the same thing”.
The ruling party cadres sympathetic to Mudha Ncube have also said Zvishavane Runde legislator Cuthbert Mpame should deputise Chakanyuka.
The bruising fight between the State Security boss and Mackenzie Ncube has been intensifying in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s backyard as the protagonists battle for the control of the province.
Contacted for comment on whether he was interested in the provincial chairperson’s post, Chakanyuka would neither confirm or deny his interests. “Please be patient (we) will talk (over the issue),” Chakanyuka told The NewsHawks.
But further probes by this publication showed Chakanyuka had already designed campaign material for dissemination via the socoal media group created by party members for Mudha Ncube, an indication that he has been given the greenlight to contest for the post.
Although Mackenzie Ncube has since taken a swipe at his adversaries for adopting “dirty tactics” in the pending party provincial elections, indications on the ground show a grand plan to oust him from his post.
“The Owen Ncube team are leaving no stone unturned as they move to consolidate their grip on the Midlands province,” a party insider said.
“Remember, Ncube is being backed by Moyo (July) (Local government minister) and they are fighting tooth and nail to make sure Mackenzie’s backers, including Joram Gumbo, are weakened in the Midlands province,” the source added.
Both protagonists however declare undying loyalty to Mnangagwa although events on the ground point to a vicious fight which may inflict political scars on both camps.
Sources within Zanu PF told The NewsHawks that Mudha Ncube had intended to contest for the provincial chairmanship, but had since decided to field his trusted ally Chakanyuka.
They said the plan was to ensure that party members loyal to the State Security minister would redirect their support towards the group’s preferred candidate.
The Midlands Zanu PF provincial elections have been nasty, with members embarking on a campaign to soil each other’s images as they fight for influential posts.
Efforts to contact Mudha Ncube were fruitless, with a source close to him saying he had adopted a “watch-and-see” approach.