Hearts palpitate for Harare East

Lissa Ngorima
It is a contest to look forward to, one pundits will surely relish.

A former State Vice-President, ex-Finance Minister, former Deputy Justice Minister and the Deputy Finance Minister have all thrown their hats into the ring for one National Assembly seat during the forthcoming harmonised elections.

The coveted prize is Harare East, Deputy Finance Minister Terrence Mukupe’s current seat.

While the country has hundreds of constituencies, Harare East appears to be the candy that everyone is after.

Eyeing the seat are National People’s Party’s Dr Joice Mujuru, People’s Democratic Party leader Mr Tendai Biti and MDC-T spokesman Mr Obert Gutu.

However, before venturing out to confront Cde Mukupe, the opposition camp is already burning, with open confrontation characterising interactions between MDC Alliance acting president Advocate Nelson Chamisa, Messrs Biti and Gutu.

The three are at each other’s throat over the seat despite the MDC Alliance having set guidelines for candidate selection.

Mr Gutu is so enticed by the constituency’s allure such that he had to tell off his boss, Advocate Chamisa, when counselled against facing Mr Biti in the poll.

Dr Mujuru — though linked to an emerging party that seeks to provide a home for G40 characters — is also said to be interested in the seat.

Her spokesperson, Mr Gift Nyandoro, promised to respond to inquiries from The Sunday Mail. However, his phone later went unanswered.

But PDP spokesperson Mr Jacob Mafume said Mr Biti’s “experience and competence make him the best candidate”.

He said: “He has won the seat before and the Harare East people have given the nation a competent Finance Minister who not only assisted the constituency, but the nation at large.

“Residents of the constituency are aware of Mr Biti’s capabilities. His game plan to win the seat is to present himself for service to the constituency and the nation. Mr Biti has shown competence and excellence.”

However, Mr Gutu was not in a good mood. Said Mr Gutu: “Your questions are now getting onto my nerves. You are irritating me. I am busy with other stuff and will only respond when I’m ready.”

Cde Mukupe is confident he will retain the seat.

“I will retain the seat because my work speaks for me. Biti is a selfish man. He should first tell us where the money he was given under the Constituency Development Fund went,” said Cde Mukupe.

“He is always aiming at every political seat. There is no need for me to campaign. I will just work.”

 

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