Buhera West is a swing constituency and the stage is set for a dog eat dog fight in the Zanu-PF primaries between Mandipaka and Soul Nzuma, the man who dislodged him in the 2018 harmonised elections.Asked for a comment by Chipinge Times, Mandipaka said 2023 was still too far for him to make a decision on the next elections.
He jokingly asked Chipinge Times whether it was Nzuma who had sent the reporter to ask him.”Who sent you, is it Nzuma?” he asked jokingly.
“Well, what I can only tell you is that the 2023 election is still very far off to make such crucial decisions and that is all I can say at the moment,” he said.Approached for a comment, Nzuma said he is not worried about 2023 yet as his preoccupation is to fulfil his mandate to the people of Buhera West as the sitting MP.
“I’m doing well here and I’m executing a mandate at the moment. I’m working with the constituency. I’m not worried about who will contest in 2023. I’m doing work,” said NzumaNzuma is a National Consultative Assembly member for Zanu-PF.
Mandipaka was an Assistant Police Commission when he retired to join politics in 2013. He was once detained after allegedly being found with ballots marked in his favour during primary elections against Nzuma in 2018.The Mirror investigated and found out that Mandipaka is organising party structures, carrying out political work and donating to party members and the less privileged in the constituency.Political analyst Rangarirai Vhiriri said political attrition and fireworks are expected if these two are to make it to the primary elections.
Vhiriri however advised Mandipaka to leave politics altogether and look for other things to do.
“Recycling MPs won’t help Buhera. Buhera needs new ideas for it to develop. He lost to the incumbent and he must try other things. Zanu-PF has young, vibrant people who can take Buhera forward,” he said.
“Anything can happen, Buhera West is a swing constituency,” said another commentator who declined to be named.
In 2008, Eric Matinenga of the MDC Tsvangirai faction was elected MP for the constituency, defeating Tapiwa Zengeya (Zanu-PF) and independent candidate Stanlake Muzhingi. Oliver Mandipaka who once served as the Zanu-PF Manicaland deputy provincial spokesperson and secretary for security respectively took over in 2013 and was defeated by Nzuma in 2018.