Sithembiso Nyoni to face challenge in Nkayi North as politburo clears rivals

BULAWAYO – Women affairs and SMEs minister Sithembiso Nyoni has failed in her bid to sail through unopposed in Zanu PF primaries, ZimLive can reveal.

Zanu PF primaries, previously pencilled-in for March 18, will now be held on March 25 from 7AM to 4PM, the party’s political commissar Mike Bimha announced on Wednesday.

Four of Nyoni’s challengers had been barred by local officials in Nkayi North – but were restored on the ballot Monday after the Zanu PF politburo meeting in Harare decided only candidates with a criminal history would be prevented from standing.

That decision swung the door wide open for Nyoni’s challengers Maplot Donga, Mlamuleli Tshuma, Sibusisiwe Moyo and the former ZBC news reader, Sithabisiwe Mathema.

They had been barred on the basis that they either had “no district coordinating committee letter of transfer,” they had “no transfer letter to Matabeleland North” or they “transferred district membership.”

All four were out campaigning on Wednesday after getting the greenlight from the politburo.

Nyoni, 74, won a razor-thin majority in general elections in 2018, garnering 8,695 votes with the combined votes of the opposition candidates adding up to 8,546. The MDC-T Chief Ndlovu was the closest challenger with 6,097 votes while the MDC Alliance’s Fiso Sibanda managed just 1,507.

Political parties have begun their candidates selection processes ahead of general elections expected between August 20 and 26 this year.

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