The Sunday Mail
ZANU-PF Manicaland Province has formally written to the party’s leadership recommending that the Senate post left by the late Cde Kumbirai Kangai be taken up by Cde Shadreck Chipanga, effectively sealing the fate of former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon Gono who had been endorsed for the post by the previous Politburo.
Official processes are understood to be underway for former Home Affairs Deputy Minister and ex-Makoni East Member of Parliament Cde Chipanga to take up the seat.
Manicaland Province’s acting chairperson Cde Samuel Undenge told The Sunday Mail last week that correspondence had been made to the party’s leadership at the party’s headquarters in Harare for endorsement.
Cde Undenge said the province had unanimously chosen Cde Chipanga at a recent provincial co-ordinating committee meeting.
“The province unanimously agreed that Cde Shadreck Chipanga should be the Senator for Manicaland. We made this decision at our last PCC (provincial co-ordinating committee) meeting that was held two weeks ago.
“We have written to the party HQ (headquarters) to inform them about the decision that we have taken.We expect that they will accept our decision and forge ahead with the necessary processes,” he said.
He said the province had chosen Cde Chipanga because of his political experience and loyal service to the party.
“Cde Chipanga is a central committee member and a very senior member in the party. He is a war veteran who was a commander during the war. So he was chosen because of his seniority and long service in the party,” he said.
‘‘He is a much respected member and we feel that he will add value to the new office that we have nominated him to take up.”
The acting chairman also clarified that Cde Chipanga’s nomination is to be Senator for Manicaland Province contrary to some reports which have referred to the position as Senator for Buhera.
He said just because Cde Kangai came from Buhera this did not mean that his replacement should also come from the same area.
“I also want to make it clear that the senate seat that we are talking about is not the senate seat for Buhera, but it is referred to as senate seat for Manicaland Province. The Constitution is very clear that senators are elected to be provincial representatives and that is why they are also selected at provincial level,” he said.
“As the provincial chairperson, I am only carrying forward what was decided by the province because the decision was by consensus and it was unanimous.
“It doesn’t necessarily follow that because Cde Kangai came from Buhera, his replacement should also come from the same area,” he said. Cde Undenge said besides Cde Chipanga, there had not been any other candidate who had submitted his name to take up the seat at the PCC.
Dr Gono lost his bid to become Buhera senator in September last year when it almost looked certain that he would take the parliamentary seat after he was chosen by the Manicaland party provincial executive then chaired by Ambassador John Mvundura.
The then Zanu-PF national chairman Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo wrote to ZEC to inform the electoral body to allow the former RBZ governor to take up the senate seat.
However Justice Rita Makarau wrote to Ambassador Moyo to inform the party that Dr Gono was not eligible for the post because he was not registered as a voter in any ward in Manicaland ahead of the 2013 elections.
It then appeared that Dr Gono still had some chance to become senator when the then Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affair Minister who is now Vice President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa was quoted in some sections of the media saying Dr Gono still had chances to land the post.
Dr Gono also issued a statement stating that all proper procedures must be followed as he did not want to be a “law maker who breaks the law.”
He said he had “all the patience in the world for whoever needs to do their job to do it even if it means waiting till 2016 or beyond.” Dr Gono has spoken openly against factionalism in Zanu-PF and has accused some party members of playing factional politics to block his ascendancy to the Senate.
Senators in the current parliament are elected by proportional representation as measured by the number of votes won by the party. The senate comprises 80 members who include 16 traditional chiefs.