VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa reportedly moved the motion for the expulsion of his self-confessed ally Energy Mutodi from Zanu PF and demotion of Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Mabel Chinomona and youth league administration secretary Lewis Mathuthu, in a bid to clear his name, NewsDay has heard.
BY EVERSON MUSHAVA/XOLISANI NCUBE
Mutodi was fired for “dragging the name of the party into disrepute” at Wednesday’s politburo meeting, where Chinomona and Mathuthu were reduced to ordinary card-carrying members.
Well-placed sources yesterday said Mnangagwa was the first to recommend that Mutodi be fired from the party after Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi and Health minister David Parirenyatwa complained over the Zanu PF activist’s conduct.
Sekeramayi and Parirenyatwa also reportedly told the politburo that they were not working well with Chinomona, an assertion which was supported by First Lady Grace Mugabe.
Mutodi is currently on bail after he was arrested on allegations of making “malicious” claims on his Facebook page that Mnangagwa was poisoned by Sekeramayi and Parirenyatwa while flying to Gwanda for a Zanu PF campaign rally last month.
“Ministers Sekeramayi and Parirenyatwa complained of Mutodi’s behaviour. Some politburo members accused the VP of being behind Mutodi’s claims, but the VP denied that, recommending that he should be fired for bringing the name of the party into disrepute,” a senior official said.
Mnangagwa, according to the source, was under pressure to prove that he was not behind Mutodi’s posts.
In the past, the VP has been forced to distance himself from party members attacking the First Family while appearing to endorse him as Mugabe’s heir apparent.
Mutodi, on New Year’s Eve last year, stirred a hornet’s nest after he posted a picture of him with the VP holding a mug inscribed, I am the Boss, at a private function held at Mnangagwa’s Zvishavane home.
Chinomona was relieved of her duties after it emerged that she was allegedly secretly recorded as claiming that First Lady Grace, who heads the Zanu PF women’s league, was a bad leader as compared to her predecessor, Oppah Muchinguri.
When asked to clarify why Chinomona was fired, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said: “It’s a women’s league issue, I don’t want to be involved or comment. Talk to Letina Undenge, the secretary for administration there. I have no right to be commenting on such issues,” Moyo said.
Undenge’s mobile phone went unanswered while Chinomona said: “I don’t know anything about that. I am in my constituency right now.
“I will call you back.”
The politburo failed to discuss the issue of Mnangagwa’s suspected poisoning and did not also give Mugabe’s deputy the chance to respond to allegations levelled against him by Higher Edu
cation minister Jonathan Moyo at the last politburo meeting.
Mnangagwa reportedly asked for a fresh day, saying he did not complete his defence because he was not feeling well.