Zanu PF Manicaland Province has nominated Cde Dorothy Mabika from Chipinge to fill in the Senate seat previously held by the late Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba who died last month from Covid-19 related complications.
Senate seats are won by parties in a general election in proportion to the National Assembly votes in each province, with the Constitution requiring each party’s list to alternate women and men to ensure a very close gender balance in the Senate. This means that for a vacant Senate seat held by a woman the replacement must be woman and a seat held by a man must have a male replacement.
While a party can name who it wishes, with that gender limitation, Zanu PF goes further and uses its provincial structures to select a nominee who will fill the seat if the party’s highest leadership level agrees.
A total of 10 women submitted their names to be considered for the seat, but two withdrew leaving eight participants.
Cde Dorothy Mabika from Chipinge district polled the most votes in the election run by the party’s provincial coordinating committee with 66 followed by Cde Getrude Mutandi from Mutare district. Other candidates were Cde Happiness Nyakuedzwa and Cde Sheila Mahere Nyagumbo from Makoni district, Cde Judith Mawire and Cde Sheila Mutsenhu (Mutare), and Cde Linda Matatu from Chipinge district and Cde Irene Zindi from Mutasa district.
Zanu PF provincial chairman Cde Mike Madiro said the election had been held in a satisfactory manner and commended women for coming forward to represent the province.
“I am happy to say that the process went well and everyone was given a fair chance to participate,” he said.
“The discipline with which the elections were held was evidence of the level of political maturity we have reached as a party. Women had the opportunity to contest with no undue influence and this is a good thing. I am also happy that we managed to hold the election while observing all the Covid-19 regulations.”
Cde Madiro said those who had lost the intra-party election had accepted the result, which was evidence of the transparency with which it was held
He said the provincial co-ordinating committee would write a report to the party leadership making recommendations on the candidate that had been chosen by the people.
The national leadership would then announce Dr Gwaradzimba’s replacement.