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All roads lead to Tsholotsho

Loughty Dube

AS the battle to win Tsholotsho intensifies, the ruling Zanu PF presidium is this weekend or early next week expected to descend on the constituency after the party resolved that the seat should

be won by Zanu PF at all costs.

The Zanu PF presidium of President Mugabe, national chairman John Nkomo and Vice Presidents Joseph Msika and Joyce Mujuru, is expected to address a rally in Dinyane, the venue of the alleged “coup” that sought to oust the party’s old guard from power.

In an interesting development, the opposition MDC secretary-general, Welshman Ncube and national treasurer, Fletcher Dulini Ncube among others, are today also expected to throng the remote constituency that has stirred political interest countrywide.

Zanu PF national commissar, Elliot Manyika, was evasive when asked about Mugabe’s trip to Tsholotsho and said the president’s travel arrangements cannot be publicised for security reasons.

“The presidium is already campaigning countrywide, drumming up support for party candidates. On whether the president will travel to Tsholotsho I cannot tell you since his movements involve security issues,” Manyika said.

However, it stands to be seen whether Tsholotsho will remain the same after the two most popular parties in the country swoop on the constituency.

Sources in Tsholotsho also said the independent candidate in the polls, Jonathan Moyo, has pencilled in a rally for Tsholotsho business centre tomorrow.

The MDC is fighting to retain the seat it won in the landmark 2000 election. It is represented by current MP Mtoliki Sibanda.

Zanu PF sources told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that the Matabeleland North provincial co-ordinating committee made recommendations to the Zanu PF national commissariat that the party’s presidium should hold a rally in Tsholotsho to garner votes for the party’s candidate, Musa Mathema.

“Recommendations were sent early this week to the commissariat and a decision was made on Wednesday. We are awaiting approval for the presidium to travel to Tsholotsho for the campaign rally and hopefully the party’s entire presidium will attend,” said the source.

The sources said the ruling party had decided that the seat that appeared lost to former Information minister, Moyo, must be fought for and won at all costs.

Last weekend, Manyika addressed the re-constituted Tsholotsho district co-ordinating committee, chaired by Sivumile Dube and said Zanu PF would not rest until the Tsholotsho seat had been secured.

Manyika implored traditional leaders in the area to mobilise villagers to vote for Zanu PF.

There is concern in the party that a number of traditional leaders, including chiefs, are still aligned to Moyo.

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