It is not cold outside Zanu PF – Mavhaire


Unlike the Bourbons, former Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire — who was fired early this year from Zanu PF for the second time in just over two decades — learnt something from the harrowing experience.


He was sacked on allegations of working in cahoots with former Vice-President Joice Mujuru, to assassinate President Robert Mugabe a charge he vehemently denies.

The purge of the Mujuru allies, known as Gamatox — a derogatory word referring to a pesticide banned in the early 90s — claimed the scalps of several senior government and party officials, among them Mugabe’s then confidante and former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, former party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and former State Security minister and Public Service minister Nicholas Goche.

As for Mavhaire, who has a well-chronicled bitter-sweet relationship with Mugabe, his expulsion this year did not come as a
surprise for someone who has been through it before and knew how it feels to live outside Zanu PF without the privileges that come with patronage as well as all the trappings that come along with power.

The pint-sized politician was famed for his bold “Mugabe must go” declaration that saw him expelled from Zanu PF. The statement, made in Parliament in the mid 1990s, found no takers in party, whose rank and file paid obeisance to Mugabe.

Mavhaire fell on hard times after being reduced from a chauffeur-driven man to a pedestrian and lived from hand to mouth, selling oranges at Mucheke Bus terminus, as he wondered like a lost sheep in political wilderness.

Nobody then had the courage to stand up to Mugabe, as such talk was considered “taboo” within the party’s corridors and could only be muttered in hushed tones.

This time around, however, Mavhaire, believed to be the major shareholder in Zimbabwe’s sole lithium producer, Bikita Minerals, had a soft-landing.


While the last time he was expelled from Zanu PF, he lived a pauper’s life, this time it is a different tale altogether.

He is still chauffeur-driven in the same design — but different colour — Mercedes Benz he was using while minister.

Mavhaire also runs a thriving horticulture project at his farm just outside Masvingo city, where he has three green houses that supply tomatoes and vegetables in and around Masvingo, as well as potatoes, and green mealies that are under irrigation.

He is also believed to own a fleet of heavy duty construction vehicles which he is hiring out, as well as a big herd of quality breed cattle.

Mavhaire refused to grant NewsDay an interview, insisting he no longer talks to the Press.

“I am no longer talking to the press,” he said.

However, the former Masvingo senator, who is playing his cards close to his chest, opened up to a Masvingo privately-owned weekly, saying the bad old days he faced outside Zanu PF before were a thing of the past now.

He is quoted as saying that his sacking this time around did not leave him poor unlike in the past, where he turned to ox-drawn farming.

“Look at me closely, I have already gained weight. It is not cold outside Zanu PF. In fact, it is even warm here. Do not listen to people who have never been fired. I know what it means to be fired from Zanu PF,” he said, while posing at his farm with ripe green pepper.

It seems experience taught him well on the need to invest other than make politics a career.

“I am now a full time farmer,” said the maverick politician, who is now linked to a political project, People First, believed to be the brainchild of Mujuru.

Knowing Mavhaire as a shrewd politician, who can manoeuvre out of political whirlwinds, many believe he will bounce back to political stardom, as anything can change overnight in politics — but this time not in Zanu PF.

“I will not go back to Zanu PF again . . . It is no longer possible this time around,” he said.

Whether the People First project would succeed in re-visioning his drama-filled political career; only time will tell. Many wait with bated breath on his next move and whether or not he will get another “Lazarus moment”.

Unlike the Bourbons, who learnt nothing and forgot everything, it seems experience taught Mavhaire well.


  1. You better start telling those who are in the habit of firing others that they will be fired as well when the right time comes.

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