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Ministers savage Midlands verdict

By Mugove Tafirenyika

HARARE – The outcome of the Zanu PF Midlands provincial hearings into allegations of harassment of ministers by party officials linked to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction have been described as “shamelessly partisan”.

Bullet Liar: Sports Minister Makhosini Hlongwane
Bullet Liar: Sports Minister Makhosini Hlongwane

This was said by the three ministers at the heart of the matter — Makhosini Hlongwane, Tapiwa Matangaidze and Annastancia Ndhlovu — in a joint statement they released yesterday in response to the verdict of the hearings in which Gokwe Nembudziya MP Justice Wadyajena, provincial youth leader Edmore Samambwa and Gokwe-Kana MP Owen Mudha Ncube were acquitted of the harassment claims.

The three ministers, initially seen as close to Mnangagwa, are now linked to the party faction known as the Generation 40 (G40), which is said to be rabidly opposed to the embattled VP succeeding President Robert Mugabe.

In their statement, they contended that the Daniel Mackenzie Ncube-chaired disciplinary committee had in fact lied to the nation that it had conducted disciplinary hearings into the matter. The trio said the process had been “heavily flawed as no prohibition orders were issued against the accused persons as required by the Zanu PF constitution”.

Justice Mayor Wadyajena seen here with his political godfather Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Justice Mayor Wadyajena seen here with his political godfather Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa

They also allege that the committee was deliberately stuffed with officials loyal to Mackenzie Ncube and Zanu PF deputy secretary for administration July Moyo, who they accuse of being behind their alleged “persecution”.

“If the committee has concluded the hearings can it tell the nation, instead of engaging in cheap propaganda, where it carried out its investigations. Did it go to Mberengwa, Mataga for example?

“Did they talk to witnesses who were in Victoria Falls during the pre-budget meeting for example? Did they speak to minister A Ndhlovu? In short, did they conduct an inquiry to establish the facts and where did they do so?” they charged.

They also produced a recording of the meeting’s proceedings in which they were called by the committee to “an information gathering platform” where the committee chairperson told them “we are going to invite you to submit your evidence and bring your witnesses”.

The ministers allege that Ncube revealed, at party meetings held on January 20 and 21 in Kwekwe and Gokwe South respectively, that he and his co-accused were “untouchable”, as they had the committee chairperson on their side.

“Clearly, the accused must answer for their sins, including the claim that our appointments were G40-motivated. We therefore dismiss this charade with the contempt it deserves, and we have proceeded to launch an appeal with the national disciplinary committee,” they said. Daily News