A DEPUTY minister had to scurry for cover at a Zanu PF provincial meeting in Gweru at the weekend after a group of angry youths charged at him labelling him a member of the G40 faction that is reportedly seeking to block Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s bid to succeed President Robert Mugabe.
BY MOSES MATENGA/OBEY MANAYITI
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare deputy minister Tapiwa Matangaidze reportedly fled to safety after Mnangagwa’s allies threatened to beat him up labelling him a “rebel”.
Matangaidze is the party’s Midlands provincial administration secretary and Shurugwi South MP.
Matangaidze declined to comment on the matter yesterday, but party insiders said all hell broke loose after his elevation, together with Makhosini Hlongwane and Annastacia Ndlovu in a recent Cabinet reshuffle.
“I really have no comment on that. I can’t say anything for now about what really happened, but let me think about it,” he said.
Zanu PF Midlands spokesperson Cornelius Mpereri confirmed that Matangaidze had left hurriedly, but could also not give details.
The chaotic meeting also saw the province resolving to have the seat of national political commissar, currently held by Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, reserved for people with liberation war credentials.
Kasukuwere is reportedly fronting the bid to torpedo Mnangagwa’s ascension.
Midlands youth secretary-general and Gokwe-Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena read out the resolutions by the youth league and cited some senior party officials as being part of the G40 calling for disciplinary action against them.
However, senior party officials refused to adopt the resolutions, asking the youths to tone down the language used in the resolutions and remove the names of the cited party officials.
Matangaidze was supposed to present the provincial party resolutions, but had to abandon that, as youths threatened him, accusing him of being a sell-out who was plotting against the party leadership.
The incident happened a few weeks after reports that Sports minister Hlongwane reportedly cried, as he was at pains to distance himself from the G40 at a provincial meeting.
The youths resolved to confirm and endorse the candidature of President Robert Mugabe for the 2018 harmonised elections and to be Zimbabwe’s life President.
They also applauded Mugabe for appointing Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko as his two deputies.
The youths resolved: “To respect our liberators of Chimurenga, the revered war veterans of the liberation struggle, and to pass a vote of no-confidence on any comrade whose conduct deviates from the revolutionary party’s. The youth league further advocates that only a comrade with proven war credentials must be appointed national political commissar.”
In Manicaland, Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene fired a salvo at her perceived rival, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, saying the main issue behind their fights was her refusal to give a farm to the Water, Environment and Climate minister’s husband.
According to informed sources that were present at the provincial meeting last week, Chimene also said there was nothing like a “provincial godmother” in Manicaland.
“Chimene then revealed that her war with Muchinguri escalated when she declined to give her a farm for her husband, saying it
was not possible for a family to have several farms ahead of others,” the source added, saying those without farms should benefit first.
The meeting was attended by Kasukuwere and politburo member, Sydney Sekeramayi.
Kasukuwere reportedly told delegates that Samuel Undenge was now the substantive provincial chairperson and upheld the suspension of former women’s boss, Happiness Nyakuedzwa.
In Harare, there was also chaos after the Zanu PF provincial leadership nullified the results of the Mukuvisi/Tashinga/Hatfield district elections, as there were run by a war veteran.
This, according to party insiders, was meant to push for the G40 agenda that was anti-war veterans.