Zanu-PF will summon to a hearing party legislators Masango Matambanadzo (Kwekwe Central) and Owen Ncube (Gokwe-Kana) who exchanged blows in public in Kwekwe on Sunday over allegations of instructing youths to perform acts of arson.
Party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said in an interview that the two brought the party’s name into disrepute by engaging in a fist fight at Amaveni Shopping Centre. He said the party’s national leadership would wait for a report from the provincial executive on the altercation.
“The party will summon them because we can’t allow our MPs to engage in fist fights because it brings the name of the party into disrepute,” said Gumbo.
“The province has to give a report to that regard, then the disciplinary committee will take over from there. The bottom line is that as a party, we can’t allow a situation where MPs exchange blows, in the process tarnishing the image of the party.”
Hostilities between the two were evident on Friday when party stalwart Emmerson Mnangagwa addressed a meeting at the Queens sports club in the town. Matambanadzo was reportedly barred from attending by Ncube. This exclusion did not go down well with Matambanadzo.
Ncube is Justice Minister Mnangagwa’s blue-eyed boy, while Matambanadzo allegedly belongs to Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s camp. The two have not been the best of friends since Matambanadzo won the KweKwe central seat. In the primaries he defeated a candidate sponsored by the Mnangagwa camp.
According to local residents who witnessed the fight, the pair did not greet each other but launched immediately into an argument, followed by a brawl in which they traded punches and wrestled each other to the ground.
They had to be separated by other members of the public, not before Ncube was punched and kicked senseless by Matambanadzo.
Others blame Ncube for provoking Matambanadzo by visiting him at his bottle store, when he knew he had played a big role is banning him from attending Mnangagwa’s meeting.
One witness described the men as ‘fighting like dogs’ in the street. After the fight, the two of them separately drove to Amaveni police station to file reports.
A source told SW Radio Africa on Monday that hostilities between the Mnangagwa and Mujuru camp in KweKwe are very pronounced and they don’t hide the fact they don’t like each other.
‘The feud between Mudha and Blackman is so serious I see them killing each other. The war between the two will only end when one of them is dead,’ the source told us.
The Matambanadzo-Ncube brawl has been the talk of KweKwe since the fight.
Zanu-PF provincial chairperson for the Midlands, Jaison Machaya said they would carry out investigations into the matter.
“We read about the fight in the newspapers, but we will use party systems and structures to verify if indeed it happened,” he said.
“If it happened, the party has ways of dealing with such matters. We’ve not received a formal complaint from the two. Maybe we will receive it when we meet as the provincial executive.”
Zanu-PF Chief Whip, Joram Gumbo, said the altercation between the two had nothing to do with Zanu-PF.
“We’re all in Zanu-PF and I don’t understand why they decided to resolve their differences through violence,” he said. “It is dishonourable for MPs to do such things.
“So far we don’t know what actually happened because I’ve seen Mudha (Ncube). He says he was beaten up but he did not hit back. I am yet to see Matambanadzo to hear his side of the story”.
“But what we condemn are utterances by Matambanadzo that he is being victimised because he is not from Midlands, yet our provincial leadership has people from almost every province.”
Gumbo is the party MP for Mberengwa West in the same province.
He said while the altercation had nothing to do with the party, it was embarrassing to the party that its legislators could engage in a fist-fight.
Gumbo said it was up to the provincial leadership led by Machaya to sanction the duo if it was established that indeed the MPs exchanged blows.
Matambanadzo on Monday confirmed the altercation, saying he retaliated after Ncube hit him.
He alleged that Ncube ordered party youths to burn his vehicle and shop.
Ncube expressed ignorance of the altercation, while police confirmed the incident but said they needed further details.
Meanwhile, Zanu-PF Central Committee member Douglas Tapfuma and the Kwekwe District executive yesterday recommended the immediate recalling of Matambanadzo.
Addressing journalists at a press conference in Kwekwe, Tapfuma said the Kwekwe District no longer wanted to associate with Matambanadzo following the incident and had recommended that the provincial leadership immediately recall him.
“As Kwekwe district we received a report that Matambanadzo attacked Ncube in public,” he said.
“To us, that is gross indiscipline because Ncube is the provincial secretary for security which makes him senior to Matambanadzo.
“We have recommended that the party recalls Cde Matambanadzo due to gross indiscipline and undermining senior party members.” SW Radio Africa/ The Herald