Does Mataranyika harbour political ambitions?

Nyaradzo Group chief executive officer Philip Mataranyika’s constant donations in Makoni South are believed to be a move to pave the way for a political career.

The feeling among political analysts is that Mataranyika is using social responsibility exercises as a sweetener for winning political support.

The man himself, though, has been quick to play down any political ambitions, saying that he was keeping his options open.

“I am a Zimbabwean and that means I have to occupy any political space. It is my right and the door is not yet closed,” said Mataranyika.

The businessman’s family roots are in the Rukweza area. For some time, he has been doling out donations worth thousands of dollars in Makoni South.

Last week, he launched a tree planting project at Rukweza high school, before pledging another handout for Handina secondary school, just 6km away.

Previously, he gave 20 motorbikes to Agritex field officers in the district. His company has promised to plant 6.5m trees this farming season, in a project he says is designed to arrest rampant deforestation.

His detractors say that, through these social responsibility programmes, Mataranyika has become more visible in the area than Mandi Chimene, the local MP.

Whenever he visits the area, he is accompanied by senior Zanu (PF) officials, including Didymus Mutasa and Patrick Chinamasa, who have openly endorsed his community programmes.

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