Mutodi faces Zanu PF exit

HARARE - The Zanu PF enemies of vocal businessman-turned-politician, Energy Mutodi, moved closer to kicking him out of the warring ruling party — after its Mashonaland East executive held a disciplinary hearing in the wake of his recent statements on the former liberation movement’s burning succession riddle.

The outspoken Mutodi, a self-confessed supporter of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has been critical of President Robert Mugabe’s unwillingness to groom a successor — blaming the 93-year-old for allegedly fuelling Zanu PF’s ugly tribal, factional and succession wars.

“The hearing has ended and there is no ruling yet.

They said they will advise me,” Mutodi told the Daily News yesterday, adding the panel that had presided over his case appeared clueless about the law.

Mutodi was slapped with a litany of charges by his Zanu PF comrades in February, weeks after images of him with Mnangagwa holding a coffee mug were made public.

Since those images surfaced, where Mnangagwa was seen holding the coffee mug inscribed with the words “I Am The Boss”, the VP’s party foes have gone to town about the issue, interpreting it as his open statement that he harbours unbridled presidential ambitions.

Matters were not helped when Mutodi seemingly stoked the raging fires further, when he implored Zanu PF to hold a special congress to choose Mugabe’s successor.

It was in the wake of these statements that the Mashonaland East Zanu PF executive summoned him to appear before a disciplinary hearing, to answer myriad charges.

“The hearing is to consider and discuss disciplinary allegations of misconduct charges that include undermining the authority and powers of the national people’s conference to declare the president of the party elected at the congress as the State presidential candidate of the party, as outlined in the Zanu PF constitution of 2014, Article 6 on membership section 33 (3).

“If you are found guilty of the allegations . . . then we may recommend disciplinary sanctions, including suspension and cancellation of your Zanu PF membership,” read the letter which contained the charges which Mutodi was answering to yesterday in Marondera.

The ruling party is deeply divided mainly over its unresolved succession riddle, which has split the former liberation movement right through the middle — with the Team Lacoste faction rallying behind Mnangagwa’s mooted presidential aspirations, and the Generation 40 (G40) group rabidly opposed to the Midlands godfather succeeding Mugabe.

In January, Mutodi threw the cat among the pigeons when he implored Zanu PF to hold an extra-ordinary congress to choose Mugabe’s successor.

He claimed then that Mugabe had become so unpopular in Zanu PF that “99 percent” of the party’s members now wanted him to resign before the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections, as there was allegedly no way that the nonagenarian could win elections against the popular Tsvangirai.

“Mugabe must retire. What we must be discussing now is how we share power in Zanu PF post-Mugabe.

“It’s up to Mugabe himself to be really thankful to his loyalists who have helped him to remain in power for this long and not the opportunists who praise him during the day and denigrate him during the night,” Mutodi said.

This week Mutodi, while welcoming Mugabe’s hint that Zanu PF could hold a special congress if he felt he was no longer able to continue, said it was unimaginable that anyone would want the nonagenarian to stand in the 2018 elections.

“Since he (Mugabe) has said he does not want to impose anyone on the people, the elective extra-ordinary congress is the only way to go.

“We cannot fathom the fact that some amongst us are still calling for him to stand in 2018. Surely when do they want him to rest? A good leader cannot plan to rest in his grave. A good leader earns respect by allowing others to lead while he takes rest.

“A bad leader, however, thinks that no one is better than himself. When Sir Alex Ferguson left Manchester United with the best premier league record, he was not too old to lead but he realised that he needed to rest and give others a chance,” Mutodi told the Daily News.

“Nelson Mandela was also not too old to lead when he retired for (Thabo) Mbeki. The same can be said about Sam Nujoma, Julius Nyerere, (Ian) Khama and even (Eduardo) Dos Santos of Angola who will not seek re-election in 2018,” he added.

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