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Madiro speaks out

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SUSPENDED Zanu PF Manicaland provincial chairman Mike Madiro has broken his silence over his alleged involvement in the theft of party donations and threatened to expose senior party officials behind the alleged smear campaign.

Report by Everson Mushava

“Those in glass houses should not throw stones,” Madiro warned, adding he suspected he could be a victim of an internal power struggle.

“I am subject to the party processes. If it is a criminal matter, I am subject to the laws of this country. I know those who accuse me have not thought that I will have time to say my story.

“Those that are persecuting me are aware that all this is not true. These are political games. No money was ever released by the diamond mining companies. They know that it is not true. I have been framed several times.

“This is not new; the same people have tried to block my political career each time there are elections. But the unfortunate thing for them is I have never fought for any position of leadership. I have been chairman of Manicalanand province several times by public demand,” he said. Madiro and four other senior Zanu PF officials were suspended last Friday over fraud and corruption allegations involving over $700 000 reportedly extorted from diamond mining firms in Chiadzwa.

The five were served with the suspension letter by the party’s secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa.

Madiro’s co-accused are provincial youth chairperson Tawanda Mukodza, provincial youth secretary for security Admire Mahachi, provincial youth secretary for information Masimba Kangai and former district co-ordinating committee member Clever Muparutsa.

Although party sources said the suspensions could be related to his alleged links to a Zanu PF faction reportedly led by Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, Madiro shot down the theory, saying he was only close to Mnangagwa because they worked together in the party’s finance department for 15 years.

“I do not belong to any faction. I am an unequivocally loyal cadre of President (Robert) Mugabe. Those that accuse me are clear factionalists. They are on record admitting they belong to a faction. That I worked with Mnangagwa does not mean I belong to his faction. My duty has been to unite the people of Manicaland,” he said.

The five are also being probed for allegesdly stealing Presidential farming inputs and cattle donated for the party leader’s 2012 birthday party.

“They are free to probe and I am sure they will be embarrassed by the results. Those 10 cattle were known by everyone and it is in the party’s minutes. How then can they say I wanted to steal?

“I never stole the inputs from the President. The wards were still securing transport to collect their allocation after I was advised late that 18 tonnes of seed for the province had been kept for me at the Grain Marketing Board.

“They are making these allegations when the party is being accused by the MDC-T of building a war chest using diamond money. Every minister appointed by President Mugabe had been fighting to have the Kimberley Certification Process approve the sale of Zimbabwean diamonds.

“If we say this now, whose interests are we serving when the country’s diamond industry is still choked by some bottlenecks from the West and when the country is still under sanctions?”
But sources from the province said Mutasa and his alleged right-hand men — who include Munacho Mutezo, Enock Porusingazi, Freddy Kanzamba, David Momberume, Manicaland provincial youth leader Kudzai Chipanga and another youth official Lesley Hombe, said to be in the Central Intelligence Organisation — had hatched the plot to oust Madiro to weaken the Mnangagwa faction while propping another faction reportedly led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru.

Both Mnangagwa and Mujuru have, however, publicly denied leading the alleged factions.

“It is public knowledge that Mutasa wants to be Mujuru’s deputy. Mutasa has publicly admitted that. He wants Madiro to be ousted so that he can be replaced with Basil Nyabadza, who he has already paraded as the provincial chair,” said a Zanu PF insider. Mutasa yesterday denied the issue was related to Zanu PF factionalism.
“This has nothing to do with who belongs to which faction; we are cleaning all the dirt from the party.

“If people steal, we will clean them regardless of their side. President Mugabe is against corruption and they stole. The law will take its course. We are still waiting for police to finish their investigations and if they are exonerated, we will work together.”
Mutasa denied reports that he was behind the alleged plot to kick out Madiro.

“Why are they saying that now after these allegations? They should stop stealing and no one will bother them.”

But sources said Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa and Zanu PF women’s league boss Oppah Muchinguri were next in the line of fire because of their perceived allegiance to the Mnangagwa faction.

Muchinguri and Mnangagwa are said to have blocked earlier attempts to get Madiro sacked, preferring the matter to be investigated by a team led by Madiro’s deputy, Dorothy Mabika. Madiro is no stranger to controversy. He was reinstated in the party in 2008 after being suspended in 2004 over his alleged involvement in the Tsholothso debacle, arising out of a meeting that was organised to plot the elevation of Mnangagwa to the post of Vice-President ahead of Mujuru, Mugabe’s preferred candidate.

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