Jostling for top Harare job

HARARE - Delays in the appointment of Harare’s Provincial Affairs minister has led to serious jostling for the top job in the province.

Several names are being bandied around as possible candidates with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s nephew, Tongai, being a hot favourite for the position.

Tongai, the Member of Parliament for Harare South, is the only elected Zanu PF official in the province.

Several other candidates are also being tipped to land the post, among them businessman Oliver Chidawu, Omega Hungwe, Susan Madziwa and Miriam Chikukwa, who was the Provincial Affairs minister for the province between September 2013 and last month.

Tongai was reluctant to discuss speculation linking him to the position yesterday.

He said: “I cannot comment on those issues. Right now, I am focusing on delivering what I promised my constituency because it’s now time to work for the people.”

Mnangagwa’s nephew is likely to face stiff competition from Chidawu who is believed to be Mnangagwa’s long-time friend.

Efforts to get comment from Chidawu were fruitless as his mobile phone was not available.

Hungwe, Chikukwa and Madziwa could also not be reached for comment at the time of going to print.

Zanu PF insiders said Mnangagwa is facing headaches in choosing the Provincial Affairs minister for Harare because he has already appointed five ministers who are not parliamentarians.

The Constitution does not allow him to appoint more than five ministers who are not MPs.

In terms of section 104 (3) of the Constitution, the president can only appoint a maximum of five Cabinet ministers outside Parliament, based on their special skill.

Out of the country’s 10 political provinces, Mnangagwa has already appointed provincial affairs ministers for Bulawayo (Judith Ncube); Mashonaland West (Mary Mliswa); Mashonaland East (Apollonia Muneverengi); Mashonaland Central (Monica Mavhunga); Manicaland (Ellen Gwaradzimba); Midlands (Larry Mavima); Masvingo (Ezra Chadzamira); Matabeleland South (Abednico Ncube) and Matabeleland North (Richard Moyo).

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