HARARE - Matters have come to a head in Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Midlands province as the factional wars devouring Zanu PF reached a crescendo last week with three embattled ministers, who have been under the cosh from the VP allies, seeking the intervention of acting President Phelekezela Mphoko.
Sources told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that Mnangagwa’s allies who include Gokwe Nembudziya legislator Mayor Wadyajena, the youth provincial chairperson Edmore Samambwa and the provincial secretary for security Owen Ncube could be in serious trouble after the ministers Anastasia Ndhlovu, Tapiwa Matangaidze and Makhosini Hlongwane wrote to the top hierarcy complaining about harassment from the three.
Tomorrow, the burning province is supposed to have addressed the issue of intimidation against the three ministers, who are all linked to the Generation 40 (G40) faction that is associated with the influential First Lady Grace Mugabe.
In a letter addressed to the party’s secretary of the commissariat Saviour Kasukuwere and Mphoko, the three are seeking the protection of the party from their comrades who are giving them a torrid time because of their perceived loyalties.
And in defiance of President Robert Mugabe’s call to stop the raging factionalism, the three ministers are also being threatened with violence, something they note in the letter to Kasukuwere.
“It must be pointed out that the idea of clubbing all ministers in Midlands province into submission, is designed to remove their loyalty from (president Robert) Mugabe to submit them to an alternative narrative,” read part of the letter.
The other narrative, observers noted, is Mnangagwa the supposed godfather of the province where he is now losing his grip as ministers rebel against him and his lackeys.
Insiders say the ministers are also not happy with a five-member disciplinary committee that was set up by the province to look into their concerns, apparently because it is made up of “people loyal to Mnangagwa”.
This comes as authoritative sources told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that the Zanu PF Midlands provincial coordinating committee had set in motion a processes that will culminate in votes of no confidence being passed on key Mnangagwa allies, beginning with Wadyajena.
“The province is on fire my friend because there are too many people who are suspected to be working against the first lady.
“The PCC is under pressure to rid itself of all such officials, particularly (Zanu PF deputy secretary for administration) July Moyo, Wadyajena and chairman (Kizito) Chivamba and their ouster through votes of no confidence is no longer a matter of if but when,” a politburo member from the province said.
While the province is said to be still in the process of coming up with evidence against Moyo — the alleged spin-doctor behind the Mnangagwa camp’s strategy — Wadyajena and Chivamba’s cases have been established and a “damning” dossier has since been submitted to the national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.
Wadyajena also stands accused of being behind the province’s youth wing resolution ahead of the recently-concluded Victoria Falls conference to have Kasukuwere fired as Zanu PF national political commissar in favour of someone with liberation war credentials.
This was after the Midlands youth secretary-general read out the resolutions by the youth league, accusing some senior party officials as being part of the G40 calling for disciplinary action against them.
Matangaidze was one of the senior members singled out by the pro-Mnangagwa youths as a member of the G40 camp and had to run for dear life as youths threatened him, accusing him of being a sell-out who was plotting against the party leadership.
The incident happened a few weeks after reports that Sports minister Hlongwane reportedly cried, as he was at pains to distance himself from the G40 at a provincial meeting as Mnangagwa’s allies plotted his ouster.
“In war, he who shoots first dies next and Wadyajena is a ‘legitimate’ target because he made the first shot.
“He has also been fighting the commissar in public and making headlines in newspapers. Now this is an opportunity we have to show him that such youthful exuberance does not work in politics so we will reduce him to his correct size.
“He will soon learn that the party leadership will not protect you when you cross the red line as he did because if they raise a helping hand, they will be exposing themselves as being the ones inciting you,” a midlands provincial youth member said.
Wadyajena, who chairs the parliamentary portfolio committee on Indigenisation has previously clashed with Kasukuwere in the National Assembly over the manner in which he allegedly distributed youth funds when he was Youth minister.
The clash saw Zanu PF youths in Harare baying for Wadyajena’s blood demanding his expulsion from the party.
This was followed by the Midlands youths resolving ahead of the party’s annual conference to push for a situation where “only a comrade with proven war credentials must be appointed national political commissar”.