ZANU PF Makonde MP Kindness Paradza has appealed for President Robert Mugabe’s intervention to stop the chaos fuelled by senior ruling party officials in the constituency.
Highly-placed sources said Paradza had sought Mugabe’s intervention, accusing top politburo members of ganging up to advance their favourite candidates to wrestle Makonde from him.
“Paradza has now appealed to President Mugabe for help because there is chaos in Makonde as politburo members like Edna Madzongwe, Ignatius Chombo and Enos Chikowore are fronting their candidates to destabilise the constituency,” a source said.
“Initially, Paradza wanted the issue dealt with at constituency level. But in the end he had no choice because his seniors are wreaking havoc in the area.”
Chombo, Chikowore and Madzongwe were understood to be trying to sponsor Lashiwe Murefu who was defeated by Paradza in the primaries last year.
Another camp of Sabina Mugabe and Philip Chiyangwa was said to be pushing for Leo Mugabe who was also defeated by Paradza in the primaries. Sources said last weekend Chombo, Chiyangwa and Chikowore led a group of more than 30 low-ranking party officials to invade Makonde under the guise of restructuring the party structures.
“The team went round the constituency denouncing Paradza and claiming that he was no longer a party member,” another source said. “It was clear their agenda was to demonise the incumbent MP ahead of the primaries scheduled for October.”
Sources said in Mhangura, the Chombo team told the electorate that Mashonaland West province’s alleged dismissal of Paradza would not be overturned by the national disciplinary committee (NDC).
Chiyangwa said his province had recommended the dismissal of Paradza because he allegedly did not have a party card and wanted to source funds from Britain to fund his now closed Tribune newspaper.
However, President Mugabe recently said he was surprised to hear accusations against Paradza when he was allowed to join the party in broad daylight and not through witchcraft. Paradza is aligned to Zanu PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira.
“NDC and the politburo are entitled to overturn a provincial verdict, so the claims by Chombo’s squad are a clear violation of the party’s procedures,” a source said.
Sources said a number of local leaders seen as sympathetic to Paradza were removed from their positions and replaced by those supporting the aspiring candidates.
“At Gudubu district, Chikowore incited youths to prevent Paradza from holding meetings in the area.”
Sources claimed the anti-Paradza camp was justifying its arbitrary actions saying the Zanu PF national commissar, Elliot Manyika, had given them a directive at a meeting in Mhondoro three weeks ago to dismiss indisciplined party cadres. Manyika’s alleged directive was now being taken as the “holy bible superseding the party constitution”, a source said.
Efforts to get comment from the Zanu PF officials were unsuccessful but it is understood Paradza was trying to get President Mugabe to issue an order for Chombo and his colleagues to stop interfering in Makonde.