Mudenge death body blow for Mnangagwa

HARARE - Former Higher and Tertiary Education minister Stan Mudenge’s sudden collapse and death in Masvingo has reportedly shifted the political ground for Zanu PF in Masvingo.

Reports indicate that a faction aligned to the party’s presidential aspirant and Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa is severely weakened following the death of Mudenge.

Highly placed insiders said fiery Masvingo senator Dzikamai Mavhaire has taken advantage of Mudenge’s death to assert his authority.

“Mavhaire is now in charge. Remember he is a member of the Mujuru faction. The Mnangagwa faction is now history. We expect their faction to die a natural death,” said an insider who requested anonymity.

Mavhaire denied being in charge of any faction in the province.

“We have one structure that has President Mugabe and Mujuru as his deputy. If there are people with a different view then that is factionalism,” he said.

“As far as I know there is nothing like that but a healthy democracy in which people contest each other during primary elections is always expected. I do not own any people. I joined the party alone,” Mavhaire told the Daily News yesterday.

He said problems will only arise if people do not welcome competition.

“If competition becomes antagonistic or some do not welcome it then it becomes a problem,” Mavhaire said.

Addressing mourners at the burial of Mudenge on Monday, Mugabe admitted the party was beset with factionalism across the country.

“In the party you go to Masvingo what is the leadership there? Mudenge, Hungwe (Josaya) — sometimes of course Mudenge used to be involved in factionalism. It is all over the country not Masvingo alone,” Mugabe said.

Insiders say Mavhaire is aligned to the Mujuru faction, while Mudenge led the Mnangagwa faction with the help of Hungwe and provincial chairperson Lovemore Matuke and a host of parliamentarians involved in the invasion of wildlife sanctuaries including the Save Conservancy.

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