Mugabe annointed me — Hungwe

HARARE - Former Masvingo governor and now Zanu PF Senator for Chivi-Mwenezi Josaya Hungwe has claimed that President Robert Mugabe has anointed him the party’s provincial political godfather as fissures continue to widen.

Mugabe acknowledged during Mudenge’s burial that Zanu PF has been rocked by factional fights across the country but seemed to put the cat among the pigeons by suggesting Hungwe is Masvingo’s de-facto leader.

Hungwe is now riding on Mugabe’s pronouncement to ride roughshod over Masvingo but his enemies have pulled the knives out already.

In an interview with the Daily News, Hungwe said Mugabe had also appointed president of the chief’s council Fortune Charumbira to “deputise me”.

“Were you not there at the Heroes’ Acre when the President said now that Stan (Mudenge) is gone “the leader who is left now is Hungwe and we will give him Charumbira (Fortune) to work with him”. It is not me saying that but the party’s highest office.

“He has given us a job to do and we will work hard to make sure we complete the job that Mudenge left. Our focus now is to win elections and we hope Mudenge’s spirit helps us achieve that,” Hungwe said.

Hungwe’s claims were quickly shot down by the other faction reportedly now led by one-time Mugabe critic Dzikamai Mavhaire and Tourism minister Walter Mzembi.

An insider in the Mavhaire camp that is aligned to the Mujuru factions said Hungwe was daydreaming.

“He is a dreamer. Nobody will accept him, he is imposing himself on the people and that is why the party performed dismally in the last elections and that will happen again.

“He (Hungwe) was telling everybody at the heroes’ acre that he has been anointed by the President to lead Masvingo.

“Nobody takes that ex-Rhodesian propagandist who was part of a group known as the Dare that vilified nationalists and the liberation struggle,” the highly-placed source said on condition of anonymity.

Acrimonious fights have sporadically broken out among Zanu PF structures countrywide with heckling in Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Manicaland, and Bulawayo besides Masvingo.

Presidential aspirants Defence minister and party legal secretary Emmerson Mnangagwa and Mugabe’s deputy Joice Mujuru are leading warring factions that threaten to tear the former guerrilla movement apart.

While Mavhaire has previously scoffed at claims he is leading a faction, Mzembi refused to comment.

“I do not comment on spurious claims. I have better things to do with my time,” was all Mzembi could say.

Hungwe dismissed Mzembi saying he was a nonentity.

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