By James Muonwa l Mashonaland West Correspondent
IN a rare climbdown Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs Minister, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, who recently lost in Zanu PF parliamentary primary elections, has filed her curriculum vitae (CV) for consideration as Hurungwe Rural District councillor courtesy of the newly-introduced women’s quota.
The novel system is designed to increase the number of female politicians in the male-dominated lower-tier devolved government structure.
According to a leaked list seen by NewZimbabwe.com, the outgoing Hurungwe West MP becomes the latest high-profile sitting legislator to swallow her pride and submit her name to contest for councillorship.
The minister surrendered her party rights to retain the parly seat to little-known but seasoned activist, Chinjai Kambuzuma via an election result that shocked the body politick.
Mliswa-Chikoka, who doubles as party provincial chairman, was not picking calls when NewZimbabwe.com contacted her to confirm the development.
In her unenviable league are defeated Zanu PF Hurungwe women’s quota lawmaker, Goodluck Kwaramba, Sanyati Proportional Representation MP Josephine Shava and Mhangura MP Precious Chinhamo-Masango.
Kwaramba was beaten by Nyembezi Nyamukurira in recently-held Zanu PF internal polls while Shava, who is facing criminal charges of ballot papers robbery, lost to Andrew Kani. Chinhamo-Masango failed to retain the right to represent the former mining settlement of Mhangura after suffering heavy defeat at the hands of former Lands Minister, Douglas Mombeshora.
Kwaramba told NewZimbabwe.com she decided to serve the party in a lesser role.
“I don’t really see it as demoting myself, but since l failed to retain the right to keep my parliamentary seat l thought l would be useful in the role of councillor considering that l have the qualifications and experience which are qualities that lack in most women,” said Kwaramba.
In a bid to scrap political survival and remain relevant, provincial Women’s League deputy political commissar, Joylene Munduna who lost to Supa Madiro in Magunje constituency, has also offered her services as rural councillor.
In Zvimba constituency, ldah Kamushinda, who challenged Local Government Deputy Minister, Marian Chombo in Zvimba North, threw her candidature in the ring for consideration as Zvimba Rural District Council official.
Beleaguered Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi’s personal assistant and district coordinating committee (DCC) member, Denica Makota is also eyeing a seat in council while Phillipa Matunja who was walloped by Francis Mkwangwarirwa in primaries also wants a bite of the cherry.
Zvimba DCC Women’s Affairs executive, Zandile Maseko is wishful of a return as councillor after failing to make the grade in just-ended dog-eat-dog internal voting.
In Sanyati, Enia Tshuma hopes to land a councillor post courtesy of the new selection criteria meant to promote female participation in politics.
Perennial campaigner, Magrene Chidarikire submitted her CV for consideration for a Chinhoyi Municipality position after humiliation at the mercy of Women’s Affairs Deputy Minister, Jennifer Mhlanga.
Young Women for Economic Development (ED) executive member, Auxillia Chemhuru, who contested and lost to Joseph James in Chinhoyi Ward 8 local authority Zanu PF primary elections and Ruth Chikukwa, popularly known as Boko Haram, are also in the race to secure seats in Chinhoyi Municipality chambers courtesy of the quota system.
Effervescent Makonde RDC sitting councillor Martha Paul confirmed to this publication she cherishes another stint in council after losing to party provincial administration secretary, Misheck Nyarubero while National Youth League external relations secretary, Valerie Makonza put her name up for nomination as councillor.
This publication gathered CVs were sent to the provincial command for onward transmission to Zanu PF Headquarters in Harare for vetting before polls are held to put candidates in ranking order.
Harmonised elections tallies will have a bearing on the number of female candidates each political party will second to various local authorities.
According to sources, an estimated 74 women’s quota councillor posts are up for grabs across Mashonaland West out of 185 CVs received from Zanu PF aspirants.