HARARE - Fearful of losing the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections, a panicky Zanu PF has just re-admitted three legislators linked to former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First in Mashonaland East, who were facing expulsion from the party.
The provincial executive resolved to boot out National Assembly members Tendayi Makunde (Murehwa North), Felix Tapiwa Mhona (Chikomba Central) and Washington Musvaire (Maramba Pfungwe) in December last year — going to the extent of forwarding their recommendation to this effect to Zanu PF’s National Disciplinary Committee (NDC).
But with 2018 promising to be a tough election year, the NDC — headed by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko — has let the beleaguered trio off the hook, after it recently heard their cases, choosing instead to just reprimand them.
Provincial secretary for administration Lawrence Katsiru told the Daily News yesterday that, as a result, his executive was now going around the province encouraging party supporters to work with the legislators again.
“The information we initially had about them was to the effect that the MPs were working for People First, but we have since realised after they appeared before the disciplinary committee that it was nothing serious as it was just differences in opinion.
“They were well-received when we informed party membership in Murehwa at the weekend that we had withdrawn our recommendations for their expulsion,” Katsiru said.
However, the pardoned MPs — while welcoming the move to let them off the hook — have called upon the party to be clearer regarding their status, as they allege that they are still being required to seek permission to address meetings in their constituencies.
“I need to know my status because at the moment I have two letters with me, one that reprimands me and another one that says I am suspended. There is nothing to suggest that my suspension has been lifted.
“I still have to beg those that I beat during primary elections for permission to hold a rally in my own constituency, so my hands are tied,” Musvaire said.
Meanwhile, Katsiru has commended suspended Mashonaland East provincial chairperson Joel Biggie Matiza for “not causing confusion” in the province following his purging — as is the case in Masvingo and Midlands where Kizito Chivamba and Ezra Chadzamira are defying their suspensions.
“He has behaved very well thus far because he has not attempted to create parallel structures like what we are hearing elsewhere. We will wait to hear what the party says regarding his case and we will work with that guidance,” he said.
Matiza was recently suspended along with Chadzamira and Chivamba on allegations of disrespecting the First Family.