MUTARE — Suspended ZANU-PF Manicaland provincial chairperson, Mike Madiro, poured his heart out this week about perceived persecution at the hands of some elements within the party.
Madiro, who has had a tumultuous association with ZANU-PF since 2004, described as hypocrites some of the party cadres whom he accused of destroying the party from inside.
The politician was one of the six provincial chairpersons suspended from ZANU-PF in 2004 for being the architects of the so-called Tsholotsho declaration which was an attempt to block Joice Mujuru from ascending to the position of Vice President.
He was later to be readmitted into the party before bouncing back as provincial chair a few years back.Last year, he got suspended once again on allegations that he, along with his deputy Dorothy Mabika, had abused their party positions to defraud companies operating in the Chiadzwa diamond fields of more than US$700 000.
The allegations assumed another turn when Madiro and Mabika were hauled before the courts facing charges of stealing 10 beasts that were meant for President Robert Mugabe’s birthday celebrations.
The case, heard at the Mutare Magistrates Court, was dismissed last week, throwing Madiro another lifeline. Throughout the trial, Madiro, insisted that the charges laid against him were trumped-up by his political foes.
Despite the acquittal, Madiro could not participate in the just-ended ZANU-PF primaries held last month after the party’s supreme decision-making body, the Politburo, barred him from contesting.
While he had initially thrown his hat into the ring to contest as an independent candidate in Mutare North in the forthcoming watershed elections, he later changed his mind “in the interest of the party”.
This week, Madiro opened up to The Financial Gazette, saying ZANU-PF was under threat from “hypocrites” who pretended to be party loyalists while clandestinely destroying it from within.
Madiro believes that his detractors wanted to frustrate him so he could stand as an independent in order to get him dismissed from the party.
He said those orchestrating his troubles were already linking him to a repeat of the bhora musango scenario that almost condemned ZANU-PF to opposition politics after disgruntled members clandestinely conspired to vote for the party’s rivals in the March 2008 election.
In that election, ZANU-PF only managed to retain six out of the 26 seats in its former Manicaland stronghold.
“What you don’t know is that bhora musango is being played in various forms in ZANU-PF. It’s not only those members who have stood as independent candidates but it is also being played by hypocrites within the party who pretend to be loyal to the party while destroying the party by fighting other members,” said Madiro.
“I realised that if I stand as an independent candidate I will be playing to the gallery of the people who are trying to push me out. It would have been working against the party so I made an unconditional decision to remain loyal to my party despite all the persecutions,” he added, without revealing the “hypocrites.”
The former provincial chair has been engaged in an on-going political wrangle drawn along factional lines.
ZANU-PF’s secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa has not hidden his displeasure with Madiro and other senior party officials whom he accuses of undermining his authority in Manicaland, where he enjoys the Godfather status.
Recently, he stated categorically that he will do everything in his power to block Madiro from contesting in the primary polls. Madiro said his decision to withdraw his candidature was not influenced by anyone in ZANU-PF but was solely made in the interest of the party.
Before his withdrawal, ZANU-PF politburo member, Jonathan Moyo, had appealed to dissenters to reconsider their actions.
The party’s national political commissar, Webster Shamu and Rugare Gumbo, the party’s spokesperson, had warned that all those who had filed papers as independent candidates had automatically dismissed themselves from ZANU-PF.
While Madiro’s status in the party remains unclear following his withdrawal, his tone suggests that he has been hurt by the goings-on in ZANU-PF.
“I was not coerced to do so. It was an unconditional decision without any outside pressure. I did it for the party. I am a deep hearted cadre, I don’t pretend, I am not fake like other hypocrites who are in the party,” Madiro said.
“I have held various senior positions in the party before. During the process, I have been subjected to endless persecutions from people within the party.
“There have been endless accusations that I participated in the bhora musango. But let me categorically state that I have never played bhora musango. To the best of my knowledge, I have been in the party since 1954, and I have never seen or heard of any provincial chairperson who has been re-elected more than five times.
“Also, through this long journey there have been many pitfalls with others throwing daggers in my way but never have I stabbed my party in the back,” he said. The Financial Gazette