Mnangagwa's allies defiant

MUTARE - The deadly factional and succession wars that are ripping the post-congress Zanu PF apart have gone a notch higher in Manicaland after Macro-Economic Planning deputy minister Monica Mutsvangwa, openly threw her weight behind under-fire allies of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

As the officials under siege in the troubled province are not in the good books of President Robert Mugabe’s controversial wife Grace, this also puts Mutsvangwa — the wife of War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa — in direct confrontation with the increasingly influential First Lady.

In an unusually bold move, Mutsvangwa came out in the open yesterday to dismiss claims by Grace’s proxies in the province that a meeting of the regional structure of the women’s league, held in Mutare on Monday, and which reversed the purported ouster from her position of provincial leader Happiness Nyakuedzwa was null and void.

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The Monday meeting, which had the requisite quorum, defiantly overturned a purported vote of no confidence on Sunday on Nyakuedzwa, who is perceived to be anti-Grace and pro-Mnangagwa and provincial godmother Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri.

Mutsvangwa, who was present at the Monday meeting, told the Daily News yesterday that the regional officials who were pushing for Nyakuedzwa’s ouster were acting outside the ruling party’s laws.

“I was invited to the constitutionally-convened meeting as an observer and I was not part of the decision making process. In fact, I was hoping to even see those who had been on television announcing the suspension of Nyakuedzwa presenting their case before the whole executive, but it didn’t happen.

“Zanu PF elects its leaders openly and it also removes them openly and not clandestinely,” Mutsvangwa said, effectively backing Nyakuedzwa’s continued stay in power.

This also potentially sets her up for a titanic clash with Grace, at whose alleged behest Nyakuedzwa’s purported ouster is said to have been carried out.

“That was a constitutionally-convened meeting which I attended in response to an invitation … I do not support any individual and as a women’s league leader I will work with whoever the people would have elected,” Mutsvangwa added. 

During the Monday meeting, 25 of the 40 women’s league executive members attended the indaba, with five sending their apologies, and the other 10 deciding not to communicate where they stood. Curiously, those who claim to be the new provincial leaders, did not have the stomach to pitch up — which left Mnangagwa’s allies with all the room they needed to call the shots.

Nyakuedzwa stands accused of defying Grace when the first lady visited Manicaland three weeks ago, where the provincial women’s league boss is said to have interrupted Mugabe’s wife as she was addressing regional party officials.

At the Monday meeting, most of the women who spoke there claimed that their signatures had been forged when Nyakuedzwa’s purported ouster was attempted.

But Grace’s relentless proxies have since convened another media conference, claiming that Nyakuedzwa remains suspended, and calling for a disciplinary hearing against Mutsvangwa.

“We reversed a decision to fire us because an already fired person like Nyakuedzwa has no legal mandate to meddle in party activities,” the supposed new provincial women’s league boss, Nokuthula Matsikenyere, claimed at the press conference.

But Nyakuedzwa moved quickly to scoff at Matsikenyere’s claims, saying she had not received “any communication” to date with regard to her purported suspension.

“I just saw it in the news and that to me is not an official communication,” Nyakuedzwa charged, adding that, “Even to date, nothing has been communicated to me.”

Nyakuedzwa also tore into Matsikenyere alleging that her opponent was an untrustworthy criminal who was soiling the name of the first lady for her own nefarious interests.

“They have been mischievous and tempered with people’s signatures … Those people are lying against the First Lady. Matsotsi (They are crooks). Vanhu vane macriminal records vagara vanonetsa (People with criminal records are always a problem),” Nyakuedzwa charged.

Nyakuedzwa also chided the ruling party’s ruthlessly ambitious Young Turks known as the Generation 40 (G40) for agitating for anarchy and always trying to push their agenda through State media.

“They just went on television and made an announcement. If indeed they are speaking for the majority, let them convene a meeting and show their numbers … this is a charade,” Nyakuedzwa added.

Secretary for science and technology in the Zanu PF wing in the province Evelyn Mutsago also queried why Matsikenyere was holding press conferences when party policy reserved that right to the national spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo.

“If anyone has a problem they should take their grievances with the party and not run to the media,” she said.

Provincial secretary for business development Beauty Muzindi accused Matsikenyere of trying to impose herself on structures.

“We did not appoint her and she is just trying to impose herself on us through her media campaign,” Muzindi said.

Earlier in the week, Mnangagwa’s allies in the province said Grace was working overtime to weaken the VP through “devious means” as well as through her proxies.

They also revealed that they had been told by Grace’s foot soldiers that all of Mnangagwa’s allies, who include top government officials and senior party officials, would be booted out from the party before year end.

A woman who spoke at the Monday meeting also claimed that she had been told by the same runners for the first lady that after Nyakuedzwa’s purported ouster from her position, Muchinguri-Kashiri and Mutsvangwa would be next.

Meanwhile, other well-placed sources have also told the Daily News that more senior officials loyal to Mnangagwa were set to face the chop as his party enemies ratcheted up the pressure on him and his supporters.

Last week, a number of youth league leaders in Mashonaland Central who are seen as loyal to the VP — including Godfrey Tsenengamu and Paul Rwodzi — were booted out of their positions on what insiders claimed were “dubious reasons” instigated by the G40.

“Ngwena (Mnangagwa)’s enemies are going for broke against him and his allies. The G40, supported by Dr Amai (Grace) want to make sure that by the time the party’s December conference in Victoria Falls comes, they would  have completely castrated him,” one of the sources said.

Another source claimed that Mnangagwa’s “misfortune” was that “two of his biggest party rivals”, Kasukuwere and Mphoko, were allegedly “squeezing him and his allies” on two fronts.

“Tyson (Kasukuwere) is restructuring the party in a way that disadvantages the VP and his allies.

“On the other hand, Mphoko and Grace are in charge of the national disciplinary committee which always endorses whatever Tyson would have engineered at grassroots level, which means Ngwena is burning on all fronts. It’s a complete hatchet job,” the source said.

Comments (2)

Toti - Toti!

SaManyika Chaiye - 27 October 2015

I hope the booting process speeds up, this is nice drama.

misty - 27 October 2015

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