The race for the ZANU PF Mashonaland Central Provincial elections took a decisive turn yesterday as one of the ‘disqualified’ candidates, Mr James Makamba endorsed the incumbent Chairperson Kazembe Kazembe for the Provincial Chairmanship.
Makamba, who had earlier taken a neutral position, announcing at an earlier presser that he had neither been approached nor taken a position to support any candidate, emerged as the kingmaker, pulling a dramatic somersault to come out strongly in support of the Home Affairs Minister for the party Provincial Chairman.
In support remarks on Saturday at a campaign rally in the heart of Mashonaland Central, at Bindura town, Makamba introduced a new slogan in support of his former rival, ‘Zembera pana Kazembe’ (lean on Kazembe for development).
He described Kazembe as a seasoned and polished politician who is the smooth political operator that the Province needed to garner its portion towards the five million votes for President Mnangagwa in 2023.
“It’s now a mere formality to call him our candidate, precisely because he is already a shoe in. For him it’s now a matter of going out through the kitchen and returning through the living room. He is already in the house for the Chairmanship,” said Mr Makamba as he rose to give his supporting remarks for Kazembe’s candidature.
Mr Makamba, an accomplished businessman and an experienced politician in his own right, had initially appeared to be taking a neutral position following what he termed ‘unexplained disqualification’, a position which only turned out to be a strategic decoy.
Mr Makamba literally pulled the rug from under the feet of Mr Tafadzwa Musarara, who remains as the only rival to the Mazowe West legislator who commands a cult-like following in the vast farming and mining constituency.
The ZANU PF restructuring exercise reaches home stretch this week as the process edges closer to its logical conclusion with the election of substantive Provincial executives on December 28, 2021, ahead of national by-elections pencilled for April this year.
ZANU PF is banking on the new Provincial executives to form formidable countrywide campaign teams that are expected to put up winning strategies for the imminent 2023 harmonised elections.
So far businessman Mr Tafadzwa Musarara will have a mammoth task to avoid an overrun by the new combination of Mr James Makamba and the current Chairman Kazembe Kazembe in the race to the Chairmanship.