Chinotimba fired

HARARE - The tragic-comic and mercurial self-proclaimed commander of farm invasions, Joseph Chinotimba, has been fired from a pro-government trade union he led in what has been described as a reprimand by senior ruling party officials opposed to the ongoing war veterans solidarity marches for President Robert Mugabe.

Senior members of the Zanu (PF) Politburo said Chinotimba’s sacking from the vice presidency of the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU) last Saturday was actuated by recommendations made by senior former ZIPRA officials.

They said Chinotimba, a former security guard at the troubled Harare City Council, had gone too far with his vitriolic attack on chairman John Nkomo, who has urged the war veterans to stop behaving like renegades and anarchists. Nkomo has warned Chinotimba and Sibanda to stop forthwith holding unsanctioned marches for Mugabe, who has not yet been confirmed as the ruling party candidate for next year’s general election.

But in an act of open defiance and indiscipline, Chinotimba and Sibanda hit back at Nkomo.

The Zimbabwean understands the decision to sack Chinotimba and his boss Alfred Makwarimba was taken at a General Council meeting in Harare last Saturday.

The two men boycotted the meeting.

Chinotimba was reportedly fired on the pretext of mismanagement and embezzlement of funds, and also failure to consult colleagues and entering into a social contract with employers and government without approval from the ZFTU Council.

Peter Mpofu has been installed as the interim ZFTU president, with Godard Hungwe and Sabastian Tshuma as interim second and first vice presidents respectively. Bernard Dhanda, the secretary-general in the disbanded executive retained his post. Treasurer Wilson Makopa, organising secretary Tawanda Mupeti, and information and publicity secretary Kenias Shamuyarira were also booted out.

“Chinotimba has been reprimanded for his total disrespect for the national chairman,” said the Politburo member. “The chairman will also be cracking the whip against Jabulani Sibanda very soon. He was totally out of bounds when he attacked Nkomo through the state media.”

Chinotimba was unavailable for comment amid reports he was out of town coordinating the planned war veterans “million men march” in support for Mugabe.

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