KADOMA MP Fani Phiri (Zanu PF) is under immense pressure from his alleged political detractors who are agitating for his ouster from Parliament on allegations of incompetence and belonging to a faction fronted by ousted former Vice-President Joice Mujuru which allegedly plotted President Robert Mugabe’s assassination.
Calls for the legislator’s removal from office grew louder this week with party activists reportedly planning to petition Mugabe and newly-appointed national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere over the matter.
Phiri confirmed the matter yesterday, saying he was a victim of persecution by senior and influential party members who had lost tickets to sit in the Zanu PF central committee, which feeds into the coveted politburo.
“Being a senior member in the party and province, I was tasked with convening elections for nominees to the central committee. Therefore, some influential senior members who lost in those polls are bitter and are out to discredit me,” said Phiri, adding he had acquitted himself professionally in the conduct of the internal elections and should, instead, be rewarded and not vilified by fellow party elements.
“The recall bid is out of order as I have neither been suspended or fired from the party. I haven’t done anything wrong,” Phiri said.
In the run-up to the just-ended Zanu PF congress held in Harare, party hoodlums allegedly at the behest of prominent Kadoma businessman-cum-politician Jamaya Muduvuri, staged a low-key demonstration at the party’s Kadoma district office calling for Phiri’s recall from Parliament for alleged incompetence and aligning himself to the Mujuru faction.
Muduvuri could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Phiri, who is also former Kadoma mayor for two consecutive terms, denied the charges.
“All these are fabrications. Anyway, controversy has been a permanent feature in my political career since the time I was councillor and mayor. I know people who are behind these machinations,” Phiri said.
The lawmaker said allegations that he was incompetent and an “absentee MP” were malicious as he was “ever-present in the constituency” and had held several stakeholder meetings to appreciate the electorate’s needs and to give Parliamentary feedback.