Matiza new Zanu PF Mash East chair


Joel Matiza is the new Zanu PF Mash East chairman

JOEL Biggie Matiza, the Mashonaland East provincial minister, on Saturday won the tightly contested Zanu PF provincial chairperson elections by over 15 000 votes beating his closest rival, Chikomba East MP, Edgar Mbwembwe.

The results were announced by Edna Madzongwe who was supervising the elections early Sunday.

Matiza emerged the winner despite some spirited efforts to block him by political heavyweights in the area who felt that his victory would make him too powerful as he was already the provincial affairs minister.

Some of the politicians who were backing Mbwembwe were Mike Bimha, the Minister of Trade and Industry and Deputy Agriculture minister, Paddy Zhanda. The two ministers were Mbwembwe’s campaign managers.

The position became vacant after Zanu PF expelled then chairperson, Ray Kaukonde, on charges of supporting then Vice President Joice Mujuru’s alleged bid to topple President Robert Mugabe.

However, Matiza went on to beat Mbwembwe and four other candidates who included the interim chairperson, Aneas Chigwedere.

Over 28 000 people from the districts voted in the elections.

In the Women’s League, a former senior police officer, Aplonia Munzverengi-Chard was elected chairperson, beating Goromonzi East MP Beatrice Nyamupinga.

Kelvin Mutsvairo was elected the chairperson of the Youth League beating, among others, Dunmore Mutyambizi who is the chairperson of Marondera Crime Prevention Consultative Committee.

Speaking after the results were announced, Saviour Kasukuwere said the Mashonaland East provincial elections were the first as Zanu PF embarked on a restructuring exercise of the provinces countrywide after the party expelled or suspended over 140 of its senior politicians on charges of supporting Mujuru.