Chiyangwa, a former chairman of the same province, trounced Senator for Hurungwe and Deputy Minister of Regional Integration and International Cooperation, Rueben Marumahoko, by 23 votes to 12.
“I am humbled by the victory and hope to serve my party in order to retain all the seats that were lost to the opposition,” said Chiyangwa soon after his election. Chiyangwa is believed to have been the driving force behind John Mafa’s re-election as the provincial chairman following his fallout with a faction allegedly led by the Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo and another one led by Information and Publicity minister, Webster Shamu who was backing Marumahoko.
MP for Makonde Risipi Kapesa, who was tipped to be elected secretary, was beaten 20-2 by little-known Tapera Table, another Chiyangwa associate.
Journalist-turned-politician Kindness Paradza was admitted back into the party after years in the wilderness.
Paradza, a former MP for Makonde, is reportedly bent on taking back his seat.
Mashonaland West Province has been a stronghold of President Mugabe but the election of Mafa to the chairmanship showed that the power dynamics in the province had shifted to one of the two factions loyal to Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa against the Mujuru faction.
Mafa, who is a Grain Marketing Board (GMB) provincial manager, was recently transferred from Mashonaland West to Mashonaland Central. The transfer, which may be part of a GMB countrywide exercise to rotate managers in order to weed out alleged corruption, has however raised eyebrows in the province.
“The same people (political rivals) vowed that he would not last and now his transfer which we believe is designed to weaken his faction,” said one official.
Mafa confirmed receiving the letter of transfer noting he should start work in Mashonaland Central on April 1.
He however dismissed suggestions that his transfer was linked to politics.
“As a company, maybe they saw it as a way of improving the operations of GMB,” said Mafa. “They have the final say on who is to work where.”