Chiyangwa to run

Controversial and flamboyant businessman Phillip Chiyangwa has been reportedly cleared to contest the Mashonaland West provincial chairmanship, triggering bitter factional infighting among party bigwigs.

The weekly Zimbabwe Standard reported that Chiyangwa will stand in elections for the vacant post of provincial chairperson, slated for end of January. But elections for the chairperson in Mashonaland West province have been postponed on several occasions, due to the intensity of the infighting.

A source told SW Radio Africa that Chiyangwa’s candidature was splitting the party right down the middle. He said even the politburo was divided over the issue. However, there are reports that Chiyangwa is a hugely popular figure among the poor from ZANU PF in the province.

He is well known for using money to buy power and influence and this practice does not sit well with other party members, especially party leader Robert Mugabe.

In November last year Mugabe personally blocked Chiyangwa’s bid to contest the chairmanship, reminding members of the politburo that the businessman was still considered a security threat because of the espionage case he previously faced.

‘Chiyangwa uses money to buy influence and you have a lot of these politburo members fighting in his corner. That should tell you something. But the issue of elections in the province has created a lot of tension and this could split the party right down the middle,’ our source said.

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