Pindai Dube/ Nqobani Ndlovu
ECONOMIC Development minister and Zanu PF MP for Mberengwa East, Rugare Gumbo, has accused party chairman John Nkomo and political commissar Elliot Manyika of fuelling divisions in his constituency.
This follows the recent suspension by Nkomo and Manyika of three Mberengwa District Coordinating Committee (DCC) members believed to be aligned to Gumbo on allegations of indiscipline.
The three officials are DCC chairman Munyaradzi Ndlovu and committee members Shiri Masenda and Jetina Matavire.
Gumbo has continued to work with the suspended DCC members in defiance of Nkomo and Manyika, arguing that their suspension is illegitimate.
“These people are being victimised by the Midlands provincial executive that provided false information to the national disciplinary committee headed by Nkomo,” Gumbo said.
“Nkomo and Manyika should leave these people to work for the party because they are the ones that campaigned for me vigorously to win elections in 2005. The suspension is illegitimate and they will continue to work for the party.”
When contacted for comment, Nkomo and Manyika confirmed that they suspended the three DCC members for alleged indiscipline.
The two politburo members maintained that the suspension stands despite Gumbo’s defiance and attempt to belittle the party’s disciplinary committee.
“The suspension still stands,” said Manyika. “We don’t encourage those members to work until investigations on their pending cases are completed.”
Nkomo added: “What Manyika has said and did (suspension) is a decision of the party’s disciplinary committee to restructure Mberengwa following reports of serious divisions in the area.”
They however could not be drawn to reveal what action would be taken against Gumbo for defying the party’s disciplinary committee.
The Zimbabwe Independent earlier this year revealed that Gumbo and Richard Hove, the Senator for Mberengwa-Zvishavane, were at loggerheads over control of the constituency.
The dispute emanated from the claim that Gumbo wanted to remain the strongman in the province as a whole. Gumbo was understood to have fired the original DCC members and replaced them with his right-hand men whom Nkomo and Manyika have suspended.
According to authoritative sources, the suspension of the three DCC members aligned to Gumbo is believed to be an attempt to get back at him for what he did earlier this year. Sources alleged that the bitter suspended DCC members, with the help of Gumbo, are now de-campaigning Zanu PF Rural District Council candidates ahead of elections set for tomorrow.