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» »Unlabelled » Battle for Chiredzi district hots up


…17 parliamentary candidates emerge
…3 female candidates hope to defy odds


Beatific Gumbwanda

CHIREDZI
- The parliamentary race for the Chiredzi district has become tighter after a total of 17 candidates emerged with three females hoping to navigate around the male dominated political field.
A total of five independent candidates are also hoping to break down the popular belief that dominates the political discourse of association by political parties.
Chiredzi West has seen eight candidates coming forward while Chiredzi South has four, Chiredzi North has three and less competition is in Chiredzi East where only two candidates from MDC Alliance and Zanu PF will battle it out.
The MDC Alliance failed to field a candidate in Chiredzi North where Zanu PF's Roy Bhila is going to compete against novices Zimbabwe Partnership for Prosperity (ZIPP) Faith Machiva and National Patriotic Front (NPF) Joseph Chiturumani.
Zanu PF's Bhila, farmer and businessman, is poised to win resoundingly in Chiredzi North, where more than 42 000 people are registered as voters.
Chiturumani, who is one of the executive members of the Cotton Producers and Marketers Association of Zimbabwe, might be able to gun few votes using his interaction with cotton farmers in the region but will be heavily defeated by Bhila.
In Chiredzi East, former CIO agent and incumbent Zanu PF Member of Parliament, Denford Masiya needs to pull his socks up as the ticket he is holding might facilitate his downfall against MDC Alliance's Sure Makuni.
Makuni lost to Masiya with a slim margin during the controversial 2013 harmonised elections, where many MDC-T candidates cried foul play from Zanu PF.
Masiya survived many political homicides as he was once aligned to the much popular 'Gamatox' led by Joyce Mujuru which led him to be given a two year suspension from Zanu PF.
In Chiredzi South, where Brigadier General (rtd) Kallisto Gwanetsa has been doing a tremendous work and survived the chaotic Zanu PF primaries, more needs to be done as the MDC Alliance's Patrick Tsumele can pull a shocker owing to the figures they got in the 2013 elections as MDC-T then.
Gwanetsa also survived many political homicides as he was once involved in the G40 and Gamatox scandals and it remains unclear whether his five year suspension from Zanu PF was lifted.
MDC-T led by Thokozani Khupe also fielded a little known Sithembinkosi Shumba to battle it out with Tsumele and Gwanetsa. Little known Chinhavi Jephias also filed his nomination papers to stand as an independent candidate.
Chiredzi West is the group of death for the whole district. Eight candidates have come forward to battle it out in the July 30 polls. Chiredzi West was the most affected by the Zanu PF primaries leading the incumbent legislator Darlington Chiwa to pull out and later filed as an independent.
Farai Musikavanhu who will stand as Zanu PF candidate has a mammoth task ahead of him as Chiwa is giving him sleepless nights due to his independent candidature which is likely to split more Zanu PF votes.
Chiwa, poses a serious threat to Zanu PF and is more popular with the electorate than Musikavanhu who is accused of rigging his way through the Zanu PF primaries.
The odds in Chiredzi West favour MDC Alliance's Stanley Temba who will be looking to capitalise on the split Zanu PF vote but another independent candidate poses a serious threat to both MDC Alliance and Zanu PF.
The United Kingdom based businessman John Manganye who was denied chance to contest in MDC-T primaries bounced back as an independent candidate and will be rallying behind Nelson Chamisa's candidature.
Manganye is one of the major financiers of MDC-T and hosts many party members who visits the UK. Manganye is heavily oiled and is likely to win the seat as many from South Africa and UK will be financing his campaign as he vows to be representing disgruntled MDC-T supporters.
Mnaganye has a vision of linking Chiredzi West with UK's Leads town for developmental projects.
Samson Makonese, husband to Veronica Makonese, former Masvingo provincial chairwoman, will stand for Chiredzi West on NPF ticket. Makonese, during Mugabe's tenure was more silent in politics and was bitter on how his wife was expelled from her post and they were Grace Mugabe's right hand people in Masvingo province.
Little known Bhebhe Livison will also stand as an independent candidate while popular Majekwane Fungisai will be rallying behind ZIPP ticket.
Any candidate can win the Chiredzi West seat because of the stiff competition and nature of candidates.
Zanu PF is likely to lose more councillors in Chiredzi town seats with MDC-T's  Gibson Hwende taking over ward one against Zanu PF's Zinaka Siyapela. In ward 2, Ngwenya Obert (Zanu PF) is having difficult times with MDC Alliances Denford Chikanyau and Emmanuel Mazuru. Juwela Turai will stand on ZIPP ticket while Willard Simango will stand as an independent.
In ward 3, Tarusenga Makamba is having another tough time with his former Zanu PF ally, Thager Cader who has filed as an independent but will all likely to be dwarfed by MDC-Alliance's provincial youth leader Philip Chingini. Makumire Ropafadzo, Chirove Josephine and Mapurisa Charles will stand as independent candidates with Ndarowa Solomon racing as a vendors select.
In ward 4 Liberty Macharaga of Zanu PF will battle it out with Mupapuri Solomon (MDC-Alliance) and Hwerengwe Hardlife for ZIPP. In ward 5, Blessings Mazinyani of Zanu PF will race with Wadzi Tinofirei of MDC-Alliance and Manjeru Elious who is independent.
In ward 6, Zanu PF's Mombe Consten is having tough times with MDC's Musingashani Musingashani while in ward 7Chikonye Rodgers of MDC-Alliance will fight with Zanu PF's Mandava Tinei Mandava.
In ward 8, MDC -Ts Makuvise Simon will battle with Zanu PF's Nzombe Josphat and Rungware Tsungirirai of MDC Alliance. Chigidi Gift and Sikwila Charlse Lovemore will stand as independents.polictics

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