Intra-party plot to oust Zanu (PF) MP

Top Zanu (PF) officials aligned to justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa have launched spirited campaigns to push for the removal of MP Masango ‘Blackman’ Matambanadzo at the coming December congress. They want to replace him with gold baron and businessman Vongai Mupereri. The officials say Matambanadzo is furthering the interests of the VP Joice Mujuru camp in the city.

Emmerson Mnangagwa
Emmerson Mnangagwa

Mupereri hit the headlines in 2012 for grabbing ownership of Sherwood Block, which had experienced a gold rush with pure nuggets of the mineral being picked from the fields. He had reportedly got backing from Mnangagwa.

Sources at Zanu (PF) Kwekwe district offices told The Zimbabwean that recent incidents in which Matambanadzo clashed with public party officials like Gokwe-Kana MP Owen ‘Mudha’ Ncube, were set up to present him as a violent person in order to push the agenda for his ousting.

The plot is also understood to involve the state media, which has been quick to publish pieces denigrating the MP.

The sources also revealed that, in the run-up to the party primary elections, the officials had tried to provoke Matambanadzo in public so that he would hit back and then get arrested.

“At one time, the wife of Mnangagwa, Auxilia, openly slapped Matambanadzo expecting him to hit back, but he kept his cool. Now the campaign to do away with him at the coming congress has intensified but the plot may not succeed because he commands support from the VP Joice Mujuru camp,” said the source.

A couple of weeks ago Zanu (PF) central committee member for Kwekwe, Douglas Tapfuma, told journalists that the district had resolved to recall Matambanadzo from parliament because they could no longer work with him. Tapfuma, an ally of Mnangagwa, accused the MP of being generally violent, basing his argument on the altercation with Ncube.

Rugare Gumbo, the Zanu (PF) spokesperson said that altthough the party’s constitution allowed bodies like the provincial executive to recommend suspension or expulsion of members at congress, it was unlikely that Matambanadzo would be fired at the coming congress.

“Those who want Matambanadzo out may not succeed unless they have incriminating evidence of his conduct,” he said.

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