THE Zanu PF Masvingo provincial executive has taken the bull by the horns, booting out First Lady Grace Mugabe’s suspected G40 allies — provincial political commissar Jeppy Jaboon and women’s league chairperson Veronica Makonese — accusing them of maligning senior party members and backbiting.
Jaboon and Makonese met their fate at a heated provincial executive meeting held in Masvingo on Tuesday, where the provincial leadership rallied behind their suspended chairman, Ezra Chadzamira, who was shown the exit door by party political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere at the weekend on allegations of indiscipline.
In their resolutions, the Masvingo provincial leaders turned the sword on Jaboon, the Bikita South legislator, and Makonese, accusing them of causing Chadzamira’s suspension on false allegations.
“The news that Chadzamira blocked women from going to Harare at the recently held politburo meeting was false,” provincial spokesperson, Ailess Baloyi said.
“In fact, it is Jeppy Jaboon, who asked me on the way forward, and I said let us leave it to the women’s league since it is their event, we cannot interfere in their affairs.”
While Baloyi was reading out the resolutions, an unidentified party member requested that they add to their resolutions the suspension of Jaboon and Makonese, which was agreed at the meeting.
However, Jaboon yesterday insisted he had not been suspended, arguing the provincial executive meeting was not properly constituted.
“People who attended the meeting were handpicked from the streets,” he maintained.
Makonese was not reachable for comment.
This is not the first time Masvingo has defied Grace.
In the run-up to last year’s Zanu PF conference, the province said it stood by Mnangagwa as Mugabe’s number two and was opposed to moves to replace him with the First Lady.
This comes as Kasukuwere yesterday threatened to expel all party members aligned to Mnangagwa’s Team Lacoste faction.
Kasukuwere, who is also believed to belong to the G40 faction, last week suspended three provincial chairpersons reportedly aligned to Mnangagwa’s camp.
Kasukuwere yesterday threatened to wield the axe on all party members, including youths and war veterans, who publicly questioned Grace’s recent attack on Mnangagwa.
“The party has a clear policy of dealing with issues,” he said.
“Party issues should not go outside the party. So when people start to attack their seniors in public, we then ask: Are they still Zanu PF members or not?
“Such people risk being disciplined in accordance with the party procedure. They must not cry foul when fate falls on them.”
But war veterans and party youths sympathetic to Mnangagwa vowed to fight back, insisting that the First Lady needed to be cautioned for putting the names of other senior Zanu PF and military officials into disrepute through her unfounded allegations.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association national executive member Francis Zimuto, popularly known as Black Jesus, on Tuesday dared Grace, describing her as a “young girl”, whose behaviour was “unmotherly” and in sharp contrast to her predecessor, the late Sally.
His comments were also echoed by a group of party youths identifying themselves as the Save Zanu PF Campaign team led by suspended Mashonaland Central youth chairman, Godfrey Tsenengamu.
Posting on micro-blogging site Twitter yesterday, Zanu PF politburo member, Jonathan Moyo said the youths said to be linked to Mnangagwa should not attack party leadership.
“How can anyone appointed by the President have allies who are against the President? How? This nonsense must stop,” he wrote.
The Save Zanu PF Campaign has in its ranks suspended Harare youth chairman Godfrey Gomwe, suspended Mashonaland West youth chairman Vengai Musengi and suspended Manicaland youth chairman Kelvin Manyengavana.
But Tsenengamu yesterday said the youths were not afraid to speak out.
“We committed ourselves to this knowing that there might be people who might try to punish us,” he declared.
“This is a people’s cause and I cannot be intimidated.
“We reiterate that the First Lady should be cautioned. We appeal to President Robert Mugabe to stop his wife and protect his image.
“Imagine what would happen if all other first ladies behaved in such a manner, for example in South Africa, where there are numerous and each of them doing exactly the same as ours. What will come out of that?”
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Collaborators’ Association secretary-general, Jabulani Mbetu said his organisation fully supported embattled War Veterans minister Chris Mutsvangwa.
“Mutsvangwa is the real leader. He was elected and we are for what he is saying. We will not listen to G40, which is trying to destabilise the nation. Army generals will not be fired at a rally,” he said.