HARARE - As accurately reported by the Daily News over the past few weeks, more Zanu PF bigwigs linked to embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, including former war veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa and his wife Monica, have been booted out of the ruling party.
Zanu PF insiders who spoke to the Daily News last night, after the party’s politburo announced the latest carnage to hit Team Lacoste (Mnangagwa’s faction), said it was “all over bar the shouting” for the beleaguered camp in its wilting quests to get the Midlands godfather to succeed President Robert Mugabe.
In addition to suspending the garrulous Mutsvangwa and his wife from the party for three years, the former liberation movement also summarily expelled from within its ranks 14 youth leaders — including Godfrey Gomwe, Godfrey Tsenengamu, Vengai Musengi and Edmore Samambwa.
“It’s all over bar the shouting. Team Lacoste is now dead and buried,” a senior party official linked to Zanu PF’s ambitious Young Turks known as the Generation 40 (G40) group said.
Addressing the media just after the politburo had met and dealt with scores of disciplinary cases that had been brought before it by the party’s national disciplinary committee, spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo revealed that more than 20 officials had been banished from the former liberation movement.
“All in all, nine cases were presented and extensively discussed by the politburo. Three people were suspended for three years.
“I will start with Mashonaland West where Chris Mutsvangwa (pictured) has been suspended and therefore must not hold any position in the party for the same period, but remains a member of the party and a Member of Parliament.
“In Midlands, Espinah Nhari also lost her position in the women’s league. She was secretary for administration and also has been suspended for three years.
“Monica Mutsvangwa lost her position in the women’s league and is suspended for three years. We also have Rosewita Chinyaure, I’m not sure of her province, who has been expelled from the party. Another one expelled is Taurai Pasirayi,” Khaya Moyo said.
While Mnangagwa did not attend the meeting to witness the brutal demolition job on his support base first hand, as he was said to be out of the country, his protégé, Mutsvangwa — who has been a member of the politburo — immediately left the meeting in disgust after his suspension was announced.
“Seven provincial youth chairmen were expelled from the party for gross indiscipline and misconduct and these are Godfrey Tsenengamu (Mashonaland Central), Godwin Gomwe (Harare province), Vengai Musengi (Mashonaland West), Khumbulani Mpofu (Bulawayo), Edmore Samambwa (Midlands), Tamuka Nyoni (Matabeleland North) and Washington Nkomo (Matabeleland South).
“Another seven youth leaders representing associations aligned to Zanu PF have also been expelled from the party for indiscipline and misconduct and these are Tonderai Chidawa (Zicosu), Norest Makururu (Youth in mining organisation), Collen Machingura (youth in farming), Memory Masengu (youth against sanctions), Absalom Mabuse (youth service graduates association), Gabriel Togarepi (Ziliwaco Trust) and Innocent Mhlanga (children of war veterans,” he added.
The politburo, Khaya Moyo said, also received a report to the effect that the NDC was still considering the cases of suspended provincial chairpersons, Joel Biggie Matiza (Mashonaland East), Kizito Chivamba (Midlands) and Ezra Chadzamira (Masvingo).
“You are aware that there are three provincial chairpersons who are on suspension and we expected a report for them. But the national disciplinary committee told us that it is still to conclude the matter.
“Four people were given severe reprimands and these are Tendai Makunde (Murewa North MP), Felix Mhona (Chikomba Central), Washington Musvaire (Maramba Pfungwe) and G Katsande,” Khaya Moyo went further.
Mutsvangwa’s political fortunes nose-dived late last year after his home province of Mashonaland West expelled him, as the ruling party’s factional and succession wars continued to worsen.
His suspension at the time came just after his wife Monica was also banished from the brawling party’s women’s league, with the power couple standing accused of being close allies of the VP.
Among a litany of charges against them were those relating to them allegedly insulting the first family after Mutsvangwa said the party’s national political commissar, Savior Kasukuwere, was guilty of disrespecting “the institution of marriage and that of the State” — in apparent reference to Kasukuwere’s alleged close political association with powerful First Lady Grace Mugabe.
In the meantime, the political careers of the party’s three suspended provincial leaders for Midlands, Masvingo and Mashonaland East — who are all linked to Mnangagwa — are hanging in the balance
Well-placed Zanu PF sources told the Daily News last week that it was “a matter of time and not one of if” the three bigwigs — Chivamba, Chadzamira and 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 Mugabe and Grace, as well as claims that they are fanning factionalism in the governing party.
At the heart of the bloodletting and Zanu PF’s worsening factional wars is the unresolved question of Mugabe’s succession — where the major players are the faction loyal to Mnangagwa and the G40.
Recently, an angry Mugabe also publicly shellacked Mutsvangwa after he called an unsanctioned meeting of ex-combatants in Harare.
Party insiders also said yesterday that both Musvangwa and his wife would lose their ministerial positions.