Grace’s maize used in Zanu PF factional fights

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A CONSIGNMENT of maize “donated” to Manicaland province by First Lady Grace Mugabe during her visit to Chimanimani district last month has reportedly vanished after being used in the ongoing factional fights in the ruling party, it has emerged.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Impeccable sources told NewsDay that the maize, which had been kept at the local Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depot since it was donated, was last week “withdrawn” for use in the Zanu PF restructuring exercise.

“The First Lady donated a sizeable quantity of maize to be given to people in the southern districts of the province, in particular Chimanimani and Chipinge. However, politicians have taken advantage and now use it as a campaign tool in the ongoing Zanu PF restructuring exercise,” NewsDay heard.

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It is understood that last week during the restructuring in Chimanimani, a faction of the party that includes acting provincial chairperson and Energy minister Samuel Undenge’s wife, Letina, and youth leader Mubuso Chinguno, ordered the GMB depot manager to surrender an unknown quantity of maize.

“They were losing the restructuring exercise, but then demanded reruns in most of the wards in Chimanimani district. At Nyanyadzi and Mhandarume, in particular, the maize was given to Zanu PF members only who had gathered for the internal process,” another source said.

“Mubuso is lobbying for Letina to be MP for Chimanimani West. At one time, they stopped the process after realising they would not be able to control the large number of people who had turned out on October 17. The process was postponed again on the 22nd before they finally agreed to hold it on the 24th. They claimed Zanu PF had been infiltrated by MDC-T people who wanted to influence the exercise.”

Contacted for comment, Letina, a senior member of the Zanu PF Women’s League, was edgy.

“I can confirm that, indeed, the First Lady donated maize and the consignment was dispatched to GMB for safekeeping. So you can check with management there to find out what happened to the maize. It would be improper for me to comment on how the maize was distributed,” she said.

“I must also say, however, there is a lot of bad politicking going on and some people are just peddling nonsense to tarnish my image.”

Quizzed on whether she had been at a distribution point, Letina refused to answer. “Check for the records with the GMB. People will say a lot of things, but you can never put a good person down,” she said.

Letina is reportedly eyeing Chimanimani West constituency, currently held by fired former Energy deputy minister Munacho Mutezo.
Mutezo was not available for comment yesterday.

Chinguno confirmed the maize was distributed last week “in all wards, but no politician was part of the programme”.

“We were nowhere near any of the distribution points. It is true, however, that the Zanu PF restructuring exercise has been going on. Manicaland has done, I think, almost 90%, but the maize distribution was a government programme handled specifically by provincial and district administrators,” he said.

Officials at GMB had not responded to questions from NewDay at the time of going to print.

Grace has been doling out a lot of goodies as well as equipment from a government facility reportedly funded by Brazil.

6 COMMENTS

  1. But this is not new in Zanu, Robert used to donate those small buses Pswaraj (gushungo) to one province at a rally and then take all of them, rebrand and donate them to the next province. In total the buses were about 30 but if you count how “many” were donated they more than 250!! Same with the computerization. There is nothing new here.

  2. This Letina lady must be just UNLUCKY….By the way what happened to the guy who won the lottery which she was running a few years back. There were reports that she is alleged to have insisted she would not pay the winner until he told her what he was going to do with the money where in the same winner went to court…Does anyone know how this saga ended?

  3. I think journalists should just get their facts straight and avoid being used or create a story from the blue.

    There is no comment from either GMB or the Provincial or District Administrators who were handling the programme but evidence only from “impeccable unnamed sources” is deemed enough to run the story.

    Surely you cant put a good person down.I have the priviledge of knowing Letina from way back up to now and she is a woman of integrity who would not stoop so low as to steal donated maize! I challenge journalists to dig deeper into her history and what she has done for the people in her husband’s constituency before running with falsehoods.

    • @Analyst- Very good…in fact very very good…Now tell us about whether the lottery winner was paid and what was the story behind it all…Dare we ask?

  4. Thanks Newsday for your accurate reporting. Letina is abusing her position in Zanu Pf to loot government sourced food relief for the vulnerable. The maize distributed at nyanyadzi was stolen from other ward allocations like gudyanga ward. She conducted restructuring of party districrs accross chimanimani to impose stooges who will support her bid to be mp in 2018.

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