Man­i­ca­land 2017 po­lit­i­cal round-up

The Manica Post - - Analysis - Ny­ore Madzianike Se­nior Re­porter

WITH 2017 hav­ing come to an end, we take in­tro­spec­tion into ma­jor po­lit­i­cal events that un­folded in Man­i­ca­land. The po­lit­i­cal arena found some politi­cians in dol­drums, while oth­ers as­cended overnight, both in the rul­ing party and Gov­ern­ment.

The po­lit­i­cal drama in Man­i­ca­land started with di­vi­sions that rocked ZANU-PF as 'crim­i­nals' then sur­round­ing for­mer Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe jos­tled for lead­er­ship po­si­tions within the party and Gov­ern­ment.

Death of con­tro­ver­sial politi­cian and farmer

In March 2017, Man­i­ca­land woke up to the sad news of Cde Nathaniel Garikayi Mhiripiri’s death. He was the then ZANU-PF pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary for labour and pro­duc­tion.

His body was found at his Abeid Farm, some 10km on the out­skirts of Rusape, along Rusape-Mutare High­way. Cde Mhiripiri's death re­mained a mys­tery, and is still fresh on the lips of many.

An au­topsy by pathol­o­gists at Harare Hos­pi­tal dis­cov­ered two bul­lets lodged in the head and in­testines. No ar­rests have been made, and many wonder what has hap­pened to the in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Votes of no con­fi­dence

ZANU-PF Man­i­ca­land Pro­vin­cial Co-or­di­nat­ing Com­mit­tee( PC C) held on April 21, 2017 passed a vote of no con­fi­dence on Sa­muel Un­denge, the then pro­vin­cial chair­man for be­ing an ap­pendage of the then un­der fire and now ex­iled po­lit­i­cal com­mis­sar Cde Saviour Ka­sukuwere.

The PCC was also ac­cused Dr Un­denge of be­ing a pup­pet of his wife Letina. Youths and the women’s league were the most vo­cal wings.

They al­leged that Un­denge had failed to con­trol his un­couth and psy­cho­pathic wife such that she was rail­road­ing se­nior party mem­bers in the province. Un­denge, dur­ing the PCC meet­ing was also ac­cused of form­ing par­al­lel struc­tures within the party.

He, how­ever, sur­vived as the heat was turned on his per­se­cu­tors.

Pres­i­den­tial Youths In­ter­face

June 16 Sakubva Sta­dium was a hive of ac­tiv­ity as ZANU PF party sup­port­ers from across Man­i­ca­land thronged the soc­cer cathe­dral to wit­ness the Pres­i­den­tial Youths In­ter­face where for­mer Pres­i­dent Robert Mug abe made a key­note ad­dress.

Busi­ness came to a stand-still in Mutare's CBD on the eve of the in­ter­face rally day as a 'street-car­ni­val' fronted by stu­dents from ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions and var­i­ous artistes par­tic­i­pated in the build-up to the event.

It was th eS akub­vae vent that gave birth to Zim­dance­hall mu­si­cian, Soul Jah Love's charts-top­per Ndiri Zv­inhu fol­low­ing an in­ci­dent in which the then ZANU-PF Youth League mem­ber In­no­cent Ha­man­dishe pub­licly shouted at the chanter “Soul Jah Love hausi chinhu.

Ha­man­dishe, whose an­tics were de­scribed in some sec­tions as bar­baric, shouted ac­cus­ing the artiste of in­dis­ci­pline and dis­re­spect. This was af­ter fans stam­peded on stage soon af­ter Cde Mu­gabe's ad­dress.

The cheer­ing fans were chant­ing Soul Jah Love's name as he was walk­ing to the stage.

Co­me­di­ans and so­cial me­dia fa­nat­ics also prized on the in­ci­dent.

G40 ca­bal and par­al­lel struc­ture

On the po­lit­i­cal scene, events took twists and turns as the G40 ca­bal started cre­at­ing fis­sures within the rev­o­lu­tion­ary party.

Fac­tions started to de­velop within the party with those who were said to be aligned to Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa be­ing de­scribed as La­coste and 'guilty' of plot­ting to ouster for­mer Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe.

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa was the VP dur­ing that time.

P urg­ing of party mem­bers on fac­tion al lines also took cen­tre stage and saw the likes of Com­rades Op­pah Muchin­guri, Mon­ica Mutsvangwa, Chris Mu sh oh we, Pa­trick China mas a, Moses Gutu and Joseph Mu­jati among oth­ers be­ing rec­om­mended for ex­pul­sion.

The G 40 cab al re­placed them with their 'loy­al­ists'. The fugi­tive Mandi Chimene was the then Man­i­ca­land Min­is­ter of State for Pro­vin­cial Af­fairs.

The G40 ca­bal ganged up dur­ing a PCC meet­ing which was held late last year and also kicked-out other party mem­bers like Com­rades Oliver Mandi­paka, Nokuthula Mat­sikenyere, Joseph Mu­jati among oth­ers for fight­ing from Cd eM nan gagwa’s cor­ner. Mu­jatiw as the ma­jor vic­tim, be­ing at­tacked left, right and cen­tre at all PCC. It was dur­ing the same PCC meet­ings that the ex­ec­u­tive joined other prov­inces and re­solved to dis­miss Cd eM nan gagwa from the party and Gov­ern­ment.

Forbes Bor­der Fi­asco

Days af­ter ZANU-PF na­tional spokesper­son Si­mon Khaya Moyo an­nounced the dis­missal of Cde Mnan­gagwa, Mutare be­came the talk of the na­tion.

There were re­ports that Cde Mnan­gagwa had been ar­rested at Forbes Bor­der Post as he tried to cross into Mozam­bique. Un­founded re­ports emerged over cir­cum­stances in which he at­tempted to cross into Mozam­bique.

Op­er­a­tion Re­store Legacy and the G40 demise

The army ush­ered in a mil­i­tary ac­tion that was aimed at res­cu­ing val­ues and ethos of the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle that was threat­en­ing and be­ing per­pe­trated by po­lit­i­cal up­starts and counter-revo­lu­tion­ar­ies.

It cre­ated a new dis­pen­sa­tion which also marked the end of for­mer Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe who had ruled for 37 years.

The Zim­babwe De­fence Forces through the Op­er­a­tions Re­store Legacy aimed at weed­ing out 'crim­i­nals' sur­round­ing the for­mer Pres­i­dent.

ZANU-PF pro­vin­cial chair­per­son Sa­muel Un­denge, Na­tional Youth Sec­re­tary Kudzi Chipanga, Women's League na­tional sec­re­tary Letina Un­denge and Mandi Chimene were ex­pelled from the party and Gov­ern­ment.

Cde Op­pah Muchin­guri-Kashiri was el­e­vated to the po­si­tion of the rul­ing party’s na­tional chair­man while Sen­a­tor Mon­ica Mutsvangwa be­came the Pro­vin­cial Af­fairs Min­is­ter.

Cde Chi­na­masa re­tained his fi­nance port­fo­lio, af­ter be­ing rel­e­gated to cy­ber se­cu­rity min­istry.

Cde Mike Madiro, who was sus­pended from the party in 2012 bounced back to re­place Un­denge.

Ar­rests, cor­rup­tion and dis­ap­pear­ances

Ex-Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Joseph Made proved to be the most self­ish man in Man­i­ca­land fol­low­ing his ar­rest on al­le­ga­tion of abuse of of­fice and hoard­ing of an as­sort­ment of plant, equip­ment at tara farm in Head­lands.

The equip­ment was dumped and has been ly­ing idle since 2007. Among the lot were ex­pired drugs, seed maize and wheel­chairs.

Al­though he along with his wife were chucked from the rev­o­lu­tion­ary party for be­ing crim­i­nals that were sur­round­ing for­mer Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe, Sa­muel Un­denge re­mains a ‘thorn in the flesh’ for peo­ple of Man­i­ca­land and the coun­try at large.

U nd en ge was ar­rested for crim­i­nal abuse of of­fice.

He was also fin­gered in cor­rupt ac­tiv­i­ties that re­port­edly oc­curred dur­ing the time he was min­is­ter of En­ergy and Power De­vel­op­ment in which he is said to have awarded US$5 mil­lion ten­der to Wick­enel Chivayo through his com­pany In­trateck.

Chipanga was also ar­rested for pub­lish­ing in­for­ma­tion that was prej­u­di­cial to the State.

His mat­ter is still pend­ing. Mubuso Chin­guno, who pro­vin­cial youths chair­per­son, was sus­pended from the party for al­legedly mis­ap­pro­pri­at­ing $400 000 meant ser­vice youths res­i­den­tial stands in Chipinge.

Demon­stra­tions were staged against him amid re­ports that he used the funds to pur­chase prop­er­ties in Chi­man­i­mani and per­sonal ve­hi­cles. Chin­guno was then kicked out from the party pend­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions which forced him to skip the coun­try for Le­sotho.

He later apol­o­gised for his at­tack on Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa.

Chimene is also on wanted list for var­i­ous of­fences.

Her where­abouts are not known as she never set a foot in Zim­babwe since leav­ing for China with Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials from Man­i­ca­land late Oc­to­ber.

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