HARARE - More supporters of embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa are being ruthlessly chucked out of President Robert Mugabe’s warring Zanu PF, drilling more holes into the Midlands godfather’s mooted presidential aspirations.
The Zanu PF women’s league chairperson for Mashonaland West, Angeline Mucheneyi, told the Daily News yesterday that four bigwigs from the province — all of them said to be kingpins of the Mnangagwa faction — would this week likely be booted out of the brawling former liberation movement.
The quartet — provincial secretary for education Fani Phiri, political commissar Simon Solomon, secretary for transport Philemon Ndushu and one Sibongile Bhebhe — were first reprimanded late last year for allegedly fanning factionalism in the ruling party.
Mucheneyi said the four officials, who have since been hauled before another disciplinary committee that was headed by deputy provincial chairman Keith Guzah, have now been found guilty of “being unrepentant” and allegedly continuing to engage in factional politics, as well as disrespecting First Lady Grace Mugabe and other senior party leaders.
“They did not change their ways when they were initially reprimanded. So, the disciplinary committee will officially announce their fate on Friday because investigations into their conduct have been completed.
“They were in the habit of influencing the youth league to be disrespectful of their leaders and the moment we realised that, we immediately reported them to the party because we do not want such elements in Zanu PF. So, they should just go,” Mucheneyi said.
Provincial chairman, Ephraim Chengeta, also confirmed that the four were being investigated, but said his executive was still to receive a report from the disciplinary committee.
This latest dose of bad news for Team Lacoste comes a mere week after nearly two dozen bigwigs linked to Mnangagwa, including former War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa and his wife Monica, were booted out of the ruling party.
Zanu PF insiders who spoke to the Daily News after the party’s politburo announced those purges said it was “all over bar the shouting” for the beleaguered camp in its wilting quest to get the Midlands godfather to succeed 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(NDC) , 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 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.