Zanu infighting forces local office to close

A power struggle between three ZANU PF officials in Chimanimani has caused the local parliamentary constituency office to be shut down by the sitting MP Samuel Undenge, even though it is does not belong to ZANU PF.

Parliament pays for the maintenance of constituency offices around the country, in order for people to bring their grievances and to keep them informed about legislative and development issues, as well as government activities.

But according to local activist Peter Chogura, the office was locked on January 3rd. He explained that two ZANU PF chefs, the infamous Jane Knight and white farmer Joshua Sacco, are gunning for MP Undenge’s seat and the power struggle has turned nasty.

Mai Knight is a former provincial chairperson for ZANU PF who was suspended over allegations that she misused funds. She was also removed from her post as the local district chair for Chimanimani. During past elections Knight allegedly directed violence against MDC supporters.

Sacco is a white farmer known to be a staunch ZANU PF supporter. He was recently promoted to the national youth structures, allegedly a reward for his hard work promoting violence against MDC members. Sacco was also part of a ZANU PF delegation that pushed the party’s agenda at a SADC summit in South Africa last year.

Chogura said the current MP for Chimani East, Undenge, accused his assistant Tendai Mandeya of defecting to Sacco’s side and campaigning for him in the district. Mandeya was also accused of extorting money from businesses in the area and using the office for illegal activity.

“Undenge received information that Mandeya was bribed by Sacco, and is now telling people to vote for Sacco in the next election,” Chogura said. “But this is not a party office or a personal office and should not be used for their own political infighting,” he added.

Chogura said Chimani residents are angry and frustrated but there is nothing they can do. They only hope the infighting works to their advantage by dividing votes and returning the constituency to the MDC.

Post published in: News

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