HARARE - The political careers of Zanu PF’s suspended provincial leaders for Midlands, Masvingo and Mashonaland East — who are linked to embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa — are hanging in the balance, amid renewed efforts by their foes to kick them out of the warring governing party.
Well-placed Zanu PF sources told the Daily News yesterday that it was now “a matter of time and not one of if” the three bigwigs — Kizito Chivamba, Ezra Chadzamira and Biggie Matiza — would be booted out of the former liberation movement.
“These comrades simply have to go as they have been the source of too many problems in their respective provinces, which the party can no longer tolerate. It’s enough frankly,” one of the sources said.
Among the litany of charges that are being flung their way are those related to their alleged “continuing undermining” of President Robert Mugabe and his powerful wife Grace, as well as claims that they are fanning factionalism in the governing party.
The Daily News was reliably that the three men would know their fate during next week’s key politburo meeting in Harare, after the preliminary hearing of their cases was held this week — which ordered further investigations.
Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo confirmed last night that the Kembo Mohadi-led sub-committee of the National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) had conducted preliminary hearings into their cases.
“There is a sub-committee which was set up by the commissariat department to investigate these issues and the National Disciplinary Committee will submit their report to the politburo next week.
“I think it will be pre-mature for me to tell you the outcome of the National Disciplinary Committee meeting,” he said.
At the heart of the three bigwigs’ pummelling, as well as Zanu PF’s worsening factional wars, is the unresolved question of Mugabe’s succession — where the major players are a faction loyal to Mnangagwa, known as Team Lacoste, and the party’s Young Turks, who goes by the moniker Generation 40 (G40).
The sources who spoke to the Daily News revealed that Matiza had appeared before the NDC sub-committee on Tuesday, while Chivamba was hauled to the hearing on Wednesday. Chadzamira is expected to appear before the same committee today.
The NDC sub-committee includes Mohadi (secretary for security), Eunice Sandi Moyo (deputy women’s league secretary) and Pupurai Togarepi (secretary for youth affairs).
It is believed that the sub-committee will submit a report to the NDC this week — which is headed by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko and includes First Lady Grace Mugabe, legal secretary Patrick Chinamasa and national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere among its members — once it has concluded its hearings.
When Chivamba, Chadzamira and Matiza were initially suspended by Kasukuwere, they were accused of indiscipline and inciting insolence, as well as engaging in violent conduct — charges which they deny.
The trio also stand accused of sabotaging a recent rally that was staged by the women’s league in Harare to thank Mugabe for his “sterling” leadership of the African Union (AU), as well as harassing the league’s members and blocking buses that had been hired to ferry the women to the event.
The hearings into the three men’s conduct come at a time that Team Lacoste is reeling from Zanu PF’s deadly ructions.
Recently, an angry Mugabe, publicly shellacked ousted war veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa after he called an unsanctioned meeting of ex-combatants in Harare.
This occurred soon after Mnangagwa was embarrassed by women’s league finance secretary Sarah Mahoka at the party’s headquarters, during Mugabe’s thank-you rally.
“I will say it publicly because I am not afraid to say so, although I know that I am now a target ... tinoona vana vakapfeka ma T-shirts akanzi Team Lacoste (we see youths wearing T-shirts with the Team Lacoste label) and so if you want to be president tell us.
“We also want to know president if you are the one who sent George Charamba to attack Cabinet ministers that you appointed, because he said he was speaking on your behalf,” Mahoka said then, as Mnangagwa watched stone-faced.