By Felix Matasva, Manicaland Correspondent
ZANU PF Manicaland provincial chairman Mike Madiro has vowed not to contest in future highly contentious party elections to allow new leadership to take over.
However, the decision has been viewed by party insiders as bowing to pressure by Madiro from the restless youth league members.
The chairperson is also the Deputy Transport Minister.
Manicaland Zanu PF structures are in tatters following violent internal party elections held last December, where a section of the youth league unleashed violence at supporters of the old guard, including Madiro.
Local businessman Clyde Jani and the outgoing youth chairman Danmore Mamboondiani led the crusade against Madiro’s camp, which also includes Dangamvura/Chikanga MP Esau Mupfumi. The two are also viewed as remnants of the G40 faction in the province.
Speaking last Saturday during a provincial coordinating committee (PCC) at the Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences, Madiro promised he would never vie for a position in any future internal party election.
“I want to declare here whilst my boss is around (Simbarashe Mumbengegwi), I will not contest in any elections in Manicaland as chairman. I want to make it a point, if it’s a kombi, I believe it’s now gone,” Madiro said.
He said the failure by the ruling party to include youths in leadership positions had resulted in the loss of cohesion in Manicaland.
He then proposed that a youthful Tawanda Mukodza should deputise him.
“On vice-chairman, I considered the current generation dynamics, our demographics, and the geopolitical movement. Nationally and internationally, the youths are now the majority of the voters.
“We are trying to ensure youths are incorporated into our party’s leadership whilst we are still alive so that they learn the tactics.”
“It’s better than to have a disjointed leadership. In view of that, I am proposing Tawanda Mukodza from Mutare as our party’s deputy provincial chair.”
However, party insiders told NewZimbabwe.com Madiro succumbed to pressure from the youths, and appointed Mukodza.
“He has given up to pressure from the youths who openly expressed concern over his bid to contest in the last elections. Madiro has lost support across the province with many criticising him for dividing the party.
“One will wonder how he ended up winning the chairmanship race. He has felt that youths are disgruntled, ” a source said.
During the PCC meeting, Madiro also proposed that former Manicaland spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka from Buhera district be appointed as provincial administration secretary, Dorothy Mabika from Chipinge as the political commissar, Sam Matema information secretary.
The proposals were endorsed by the Zanu PF secretary for external affairs Simbarashe Mumbengegwi who presided over the meeting.