Deadlock in Midlands

Emmerson Mnangagwa

VP Emmerson Mnangagwa

THE ad-hoc ZANU-PF Midlands provincial disciplinary committee handling the case of three senior members accused of fanning factionalism has apparently failed to pin them down after a faction aligned to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa reportedly declared war if they were to be found guilty, it has emerged.
The committee was put in place by the party to prod flamboyant businessman and Gokwe-Nembudziya legislator, Justice Mayor Wadyajena, who is also Midlands youth secretary for administration; Owen Mudha Ncube, the provincial secretary for security in the main wing and provincial youth chairman; and Edmore Samambwa, who stand accused of instigating the attempted ouster of three Cabinet ministers from the party because they were disobedient to local leadership.
The trio allegedly took aim at Midlands provincial political commissar, Makhosini Hlongwane, who is also the Minister for Sports and Recreation; Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Tapiwa Matangaidze; and Tourism and Hospitality Industry Deputy Minister, Annastacia Ndhlovu, whom the province seeks to jettison for allegedly disrespecting the province’s political leadership and hobnobbing with a faction in the party going by the moniker, Generation 40 (G40), which is bitterly opposed to Mnangagwa — the province’s political godfather.
Several attempts to oust them at successive provincial meetings have yielded nothing. The ministers ended up writing to ZANU-PF’s national political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, who, instead of rushing to hot spot as he often did in the past, preferred to stand aside and set up a team to investigate the case and make recommendations to the National Disciplinary Committee (NDC).
The provincial committee, headed by deputy provincial chairman, Daniel Mackenzie Ncube, conducted hearings for both warring sides at the weekend, which sources said were reduced to platforms for smear campaigns, leading to the stalemate.
In fact, it was the trio of Wadyajena, Mudha Ncube and Samambwa who came out of the hearings with bragging rights as they are said to be enjoying Mnangagwa’s support.
As a result, sources said, Hlongwane, Matangaidze and Ndlovu are gravely dissatisfied with how the proceedings were conducted and have since indicated that they would appeal to the NDC against any verdict that undermines their interests.
Meanwhile, the Mnangagwa camp is reportedly determined to make sure that the case is not brought before the NDC, which they strongly suspect is biased against them.
The NDC is chaired by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko and consists of First Lady, Grace Mugabe, Youth League boss, Pupurai Togarepi, legal affairs secretary, Patrick Chinamasa, Kasukuwere himself and secretary for security, Kembo Mohadi.
The Midlands dispute highlights the many complex undercurrents rocking the ruling party’s boat and that province’s latest friction is being viewed as a mere extension of animosities between contemporary archrivals Wadyajena and Kasukuwere.
During the hearing, Wadyajena reportedly accused Kasukuwere of extending his own personal conflicts into the game.
Kasukuwere and Wadyajena are infamous for their huge public bust up which started two years ago when the latter summoned him to Parliament to answer allegations of malpractice emanating from awry empowerment deals he presided over as Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment.
Wadyajena chairs the committee which superintends that portfolio and has been trying to get to the bottom of the matter.
Kasukuwere is thought to be the face of G40 — claims he denies — while Wadyajena publicly sympathises with Mnangagwa.
The height of their altercation played out in Parliament when Kasukuwere, instead of providing answers, decided to show clout, leading to a clash of egos which no one won.
“That disciplinary case will not yield anything. The team presiding over the case is the same team that absolved Wadyajena when he was accused of insulting the first lady last year and it belongs to our camp. In fact, it will expose those ministers,” said a top party official from the province.
“The tide will turn against Hlongwane and crew for working in cahoots with other external forces to cause chaos and despondency in Midlands. They are placing their hope with the controversial NDC which G40 controls. In the province, they know kuti hapana chavo (they have no leverage),” added the official.
This places the camp squarely against G40 amid indications that any verdict would be contested.
“Hlongwane and crew will contest the findings of the province and appeal to the NDC,” claimed a member of the party sympathetic to
Mackenzie Ncube and Jonh Holder, who presided over the hearings, were not reachable on Tuesday and yesterday when the Financial Gazette sought them to explain the issue. Midlands provincial spokesman, Cornelius Mpereri, declined to comment and referred questions back to the duo.

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