An MDC candidate for the Thokozani Khupe-led splinter group in the forthcoming elections has won the Zanu PF primary elections.
Tavengwa Mukuhlani, the under-fire Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) chairperson initially printed posters for the 2018 parliamentary elections standing on an MDC-Khupe ticket for Mhondoro-Ngezi, but curiously chose to run in Zanu PF primary elections in the same constituency.
Mukuhlani won the Zanu PF primaries, beating Lindiwe Chitombo, Thompson Nhidza, Jacob Nhidza, Taurai Mabika, Edward Chimedza and Norbert Kazembe, and will represent Zanu PF in National Assembly elections in Mhondoro-Ngezi in the general elections due by August.
Mukuhlani’s former MDC district chairperson Charles Mapininga confirmed to the Daily News yesterday that in 2013, Makuhlani actually contested in the opposition party’s primary elections and lost to Denis Juru.
“He was beaten in the MDC 2013 primary elections by …Juru, I saw his latest posters but he was vying for the post under the MDC led by Khupe,” said Mapininga.
MDC Chitungwiza province chairperson Voice Chinake confirmed that Makuhlani was once a member of the mainstream MDC party.
In the MDC political provinces, Mhondoro-Ngezi is under Chitungwiza.
“He was once a party member but he left, I am not sure if he is now part of the Khupe MDC,” said Chinake.
Calls to Mukuhlani, an Indian-trained pharmacist, repeatedly hit a brick-wall as his mobile phone was unanswered and he also did not respond to messages sent to his phone.
Mukuhlani, a former Mashonaland Cricket Association chairperson, was in 2015 elected to lead Zimbabwe Cricket after a brief hiatus from the game during which he had left the sport to run for political office under the MDC ticket for the Mhondoro- Ngezi constituency but failed in 2013.
According to the Zanu PF rules and guidelines for elections, one had to be in the provincial structures for more than five years and must be a fully paid member of the party to be eligible to run for the National Assembly.