Nyanhongo, who is the only Member of Parliament from President Robert Mugabes Zanu (PF) party in Harare province, is appealing the results of last weeks provincial election in which he polled 807 votes but lost to Amos Midzi who got 1 052 votes. A senior Zanu (PF) official speaking on condition of anonymity said although Nyanhongo was contesting the results, his links to Mnangagwa had cost him the coveted prize.
“Even if Nyanhongo has appealed last week’s results he will not be able to topple Midzi from the post,” the source said. “He has serious links with Mnangagwa and everyone in the party knows that. He is a Mnangagwa front, he spends his time at his farm in Kwekwe. Zanu (PF), whose power is on the wane after it was defeated by the MDC in elections last year, is ridden with factionalism, much of it linked to the unresolved issue of Mugabes succession.
Two camps, one led by former army commander Solomon Mujuru and the other by Mnangagwa, are fighting for control of the party when, and if, Mugabe retires. “If Nyanhongo had won that post that would have somewhat tilted the power balance between Mujuru’s camp and Mnangagwa’s camp and that cannot be allowed to happen,” the source said. Under the Zanu (PF) structures, Mnangagwa is the party’s secretary for legal affairs making him number five in the organisation behind Mugabe, vice-president Joyce Mujuru, national chairman John Nkomo and Didymus Mutasa who is the party’s secretary for administration.
Although Nyanhongo was not reachable for comment at the weekend, last week he said he was awaiting response from the party hierarchy on his appeal. The source said Mugabe was “well aware of the Nyanhongo’s links to Mnangagwa and Ngwena cannot be trusted, but mudhara (the old man) wants him to continue his ambitions of being elected to the presidium, but he is fully aware that he is not popular in the party so he will not be elected anywhere near the presidum.”Post published in: Zimbabwe News