Zanu PF disowns Samukange, Kereke

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF has warned party members not to work with independent legislators Munyaradzi Kereke and Jonathan Samukange, warning those defying the directive face censure. 

Rugare Gumbo, the Zanu PF spokesperson, told the Daily News that no party member, district chairperson or legislator was allowed to work with the two legislators. 

Samukange represents Mudzi South while Kereke is MP for Bikita West.

“The two were dismissed from the party when they stood as independent candidates in the harmonised elections last year and their matter is still to be determined by the presidium,” Gumbo told the Daily News.

“Our party members should not work with them since they don’t belong to us. I know that there are some district chairpersons who are trying to work with them in their constituencies and we don’t support them and this should stop.”

Samukange and Kereke both claim to be de facto Zanu PF MPs and de jure independent MPs.

Samukange said he had no comment to make on the matter.

“I have nothing  to say on what Gumbo said,” Samukange said.  “I understand that president Mugabe discussed the issue  that  I  should be re-admitted into the party structures at a Zanu PF  central committee meeting last year and everyone who attended the meeting knows about it.”

Kereke was not reachable for comment as he was said to be out of the country.

Gumbo, who is a senior member of the politburo,  said the party was aware of the political skullduggery in Bikita West were the former MP Cladiuos Makova  is  allegedly purging  district  chairpersons suspected  to be sympathetic to  Kereke.

“We know what is happening in Bikita about Kereke, and our supporters should know that Kereke is not yet our party member although he has appealed to be readmitted into the party we have not started working with him,” Gumbo said.

“Kereke and Samukange remain suspended from the party until the party presidium decides their fate.”

The status of the legislators has caused bitter divisions in Zanu PF, with legislator for Bikita South Jeppy Jaboon speaking out against the suspension of district chairperson by Makova, who is a central committee member.

“The issue is not about Kereke because his issue is being handled by the presidium but we are talking about Zanu PF structures that are being changed unconstitutionally by Makova who wants to protect his position and putting chairpersons who support him,” Jaboon fumed.

“He is a dictator in the way he is running the party structures in Bikita.”

Samukange has been locked in a fight with Mudzi South and West legislators Newton Kachepa and Acquillina Katsande respectively, accusing them of working in cahoots with provincial chairperson Ray Kaukonde to block his return to Zanu PF.

Gumbo accused Samukange of causing confusion.

“We know that there are also problems in Mudzi constituency as Samukange is telling our supporters that president Robert Mugabe said he must be readmitted into the party structures in Mashonaland East Province and this is not true,” Gumbo said. “He must stop causing confusion in the party as he was expelled by the party. Samukange and Kereke want to talk of factionalism in the party which does not exist.”

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