THREE ministers — Makhosini Hlongwane (Sport), Tapiwa Matangaidze (deputy Labour) and Anastancia Ndlovu (deputy Tourism) — face possible expulsion from Zanu PF after it emerged that they allegedly filed false harassment charges against fellow party members in a bid to portray themselves as victims of the ruling party’s vicious factional fights.
by BLESSED MHLANGA
Highly-placed Zanu PF sources told NewsDay that the recent acquittal of Midlands youth chairman Edmore Samambwa, Gokwe-Kana MP Owen Ncube and Gokwe-Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena had left top party leaders in the Midlands province convinced that the ministers had fabricated the charges.
“The first phase of the hearings is over and it was established beyond any reasonable doubt that the charges were white lies bent on destroying the party and creating factions from the shadows of nothing and, therefore, a move has been made to charge the trio,” a highly-placed source said.
The sources said plans were now underway to block the three ministers — all linked to Zanu PF’s G40 faction — from defending their parliamentary seats in primary elections ahead of 2018 elections.
“Now the war is being fought on all fronts, first, the charges, then second, machinery has already been deployed into their constituency to ensure that come 2018, they are dumped and replaced by more loyal cadres,” another source said.
Disciplinary committee chairperson, and provincial vice-chairperson Daniel Mackenzie said he was not aware of the charges and would not wish to comment on anything that has not been brought before his committee.
“I remain neutral and will let the report we produced speak for itself. It is my hope that our findings will help unite the Midlands family and the party because we tried to be as transparent and open as possible. The hearings were recorded and are open for anyone to view,” he said.
Zanu PF provincial spokesperson, Cornelius Mpereri said the three ministers had not been charged yet, but had committed chargeable offences.
“They have not been charged yet, but what they did was in very bad taste in that, they sought to alienate the Midlands province from President (Robert) Mugabe through lies. The mere suggestion that the provincial leadership should be dissolved was a threat to the stability of the party,” Mpereri said.
Zanu PF insiders said the three ministers stoked fire against themselves after they by-passed the provincial leadership and reported their matter to the party’s commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere.
“They made two fatal mistakes. The first was a clear disregard of party constitution, which, as senior members, they are expected to follow religiously.
Secondly, they wrote one letter of complaint, as if their circumstances were the same. This was a clear case of manufactured charges and, hence, the need to deal with them,” the source said.