A GROUP loyal to Zanu PF Goromonzi South MP, Petronella Kagonye has accused losers of the party primary elections last year of plotting to scandalise their leader and discredit her ahead of the 2018 elections.
In an interview with NewsDay, the group said the MP, who was under fire from members of the five co-operatives, was a victim of political infighting within Zanu PF with people wanting to fight her and effectively “deal with her” ahead of 2018.
Rodgers Pote, chairman of the Vaduku group, beneficiaries of the co-operative land, said the MP was right and always calling for accountability from all the co-operatives.
Ngonidzashe Zvanezuro, a member of the co-operative, said: “The MP should stand for herself. We are not part of those blaming her and those who are doing that are some of those who also voted for her. We don’t have problems with her. She has worked for the constituency by recommending youths to Zinara [Zimbabwe National Roads Administration], and other companies. Some of these issues came from the primary elections last year. The wars are still on and those who lost are preparing for 2018 and are now after her by making all sorts of false claims against her.”
Shelly Chapwaya, Shingiriro housing co-operative secretary, which is divided over the land issues, said the MP was the brainchild of the project and did not get “even a single cent from members.”
“The MP didn’t get money from Shingiriro housing co-operative to campaign. There are suspicions of abuse of money by some of the co-operative members. We now hear there is only $2,50 left in the account instead of around $90 000,” Chapwanya said.
In a brief interview with NewsDay on Friday, Kagonye distanced herself from the accusations being made by a rival group saying she was an honest person fighting to develop her constituency.
She accused her rivals in the party of tarnishing her image instead of promoting party interests.
Kagonye’s rivals made allegations that she rallied co-operative members to vote for her and should in turn facilitate land.
The State land at the centre of the dispute was allocated to Zanu PF supporters by the government on April 3 2013 after Kagonye, who represented the Lands and Rural Resettlement ministry in the deal, asked Chombo’s ministry to hand over the land to Zanu PF-aligned co-operatives.
Serious clashes have taken place in Kagonye’s constituency over the land and recently, a bulldozer belonging to the co-operative members opposed to Kagonye was burnt during the recent fights.
Last Friday, Kagonye invited all co-operative members to a meeting at her office which was, however, boycotted by those who are said to be fighting her.