BY Garikai Mafirakreva
The Zanu PF Masvingo provincial disciplinary committee has rescinded plans to expel two Chiredzi councillors who were facing allegations of going to bed with the Nelson Chamisa-led opposition MDC.
The ruling party has, instead, pardoned the duo, putting to rest the matter that had dragged for more than four months.
Zanu PF Masvingo provincial spokesperson Ronald Ndava confirmed that the councillors had gotten away with mere “stern” warnings.
“Yes, I can confirm that the councillors will not be sacked, but will be given stern warnings today (Wednesday),” he said.
On October 2 last year, the provincial disciplinary committee wrote prohibition letters to Obert Ngwenya and Josphat Nzombe of wards 2 and 8, respectively, accusing them of disrespecting the leadership and the party at large by working in cahoots with members of MDC Alliance to bring Zanu PF into disrepute and ridicule.
They were also charged with gross misconduct and disloyalty as well as failing to perform their duties as required of members and failing to obey a lawful order.
The controversial matter almost tore Zanu PF apart as a section fought in support of them, while others clamoured for their expulsion.
The MDC Alliance left their opponent with a sour taste in their mouth after snatching the Chiredzi council chairmanship from Zanu PF despite the latter’s numerical advantage.
Zanu PF had four councillors and MDC Alliance had three. But MDC Alliance ward 1 councillor Gibson Hwende landed the post after upstaging ward 5 councillor Blessing Mazinyani of Zanu PF with five votes against three.
Independent ward 3 councillor Ropafadzo Makumire thrashed ward 4 councillor Liberty Macharaga of Zanu PF by the same margin to land the vice-chair post, with Ngwenya settling for the chairmanship of the housing committee, much to the disappointment of Zanu PF Masvingo provincial hierarchy.
Chiredzi West legislator Farai Musikavanhu (Zanu PF) quickly took to social media and posted on a ruling party WhatsApp group that he was already identifying loyal cadres to assume positions of councillors in 2023.
Meanwhile, national political commissar for the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association, Francis Nhando, fought from the other corner, defending the councillors and hinting that Zanu PF risked losing to the MDC Alliance if they force a by-election in wards 2 and 8, labelling the provincial leadership as unprincipled opportunists.