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Corruption claims enter succession race

Dumisani Muleya

FRESH infighting has flared up in Zanu PF as the party’s rival camps square up over President Robert Mugabe’s hotly-contested succession, with dossiers of alleged corruption surfacing as the latest political weapons.

Sources sai

d this week the two factions, led by retired army commander General Solomon Mujuru on the one hand and Emmerson  Mnangagwa on the other, had intensified the power struggle over Mugabe’s job.

The sources said the factions were wielding dossiers of alleged corruption against each as part of their arsenal.

They said the Mujuru faction had an audit report of Zanu PF companies compiled by Kudenga & Co chartered accountants which tries to nail the Mnangagwa camp. Ngoni Kudenga, a senior partner at Kudenga & Co, has refused to disclose the contents of the report.

Mnangagwa is said to be in possession of a dossier showing how the Mujuru camp allegedly used Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s visit to China in June to clinch personal business deals for self-enrichment via Dande Capital Holdings, a financial advisory services company, and its subsidiaries. Mujuru allegedly has an interest in Dande, which has seven subsidiaries, where her daughter Kumbirayi works.

Mujuru took Dande directors with her to China. These include David Butau, a Zanu PF MP for Guruve North, Evison Musanjeya and Wilfred Hlanguyo.

The three, together with Decent Chitsungo, are company shareholders.

During Mujuru’s visit, Dande signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China National Construction and Agricultural Machinery Import and Export to establish a chrome mine in the Dande area, while Elé Resources, a subsidiary of Dande Capital, signed a deal to start a coal mine and two thermal power plants in the Dande region.

The sources said Mnangagwa visited China shortly before Mujuru and managed to secure the services of embassy staff to compile a report for him on Mujuru’s trip. The sources said Mnangagwa submitted the report to President Mugabe. Efforts to get comment from Mnangagwa yesterday were unsuccessful.

The Mugabe succession war is being fought at various levels of the party.

Sources said the arraignment of Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa for the alleged obstruction of the course of justice, efforts to charge State Security minister Didymus Mutasa, whom the Mujuru camp reportedly now wants replaced with Mashonaland East provincial governor Ray Kaukonde, the Zupco corruption trial and events around Local Government minister Ignatious Chombo and deputy Information minister Bright Matonga, were part of the succession fight.

Chinamasa is said to be quarrelling with Attorney-General Sobusa Gula-Ndebele who is linked to the Mujuru faction. Chombo is said to be out of favour with both camps due to his fluid allegiance.

It is also said the apparent fight between Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono and the Mujuru camp is about Mugabe’s succession because Gono, who is thought to be linked to the Mnangagwa group, is viewed as positioning himself for the presidency.

Gono last week said he would not be intimidated by people waving their “liberation war credentials”, in remarks widely seen as aimed at the Mujuru camp which is dominated by war veterans. Mutasa, who is under siege from the Mujuru faction, came to Gono’s defence this week, saying government viewed seriously threats against Gono, whose farm was last week raided by strangers and allegedly set on fire.

Last week Gono did not greet or acknowledge the presence of General Mujuru at his monetary policy statement presentation.

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