FORMER cabinet minister Kumbirai Kangai who died from a suspected heart attack last Saturday was blocked by the Zanu PF politburo from being the next deputy president of the senate a day before his death, it has emerged.
BRIAN CHITEMBA/PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
Zanu PF insiders said the politburo meeting last Friday deliberated on the possibility of appointing Kangai to that position but the proposal was shot down by Vice-President Joice Mujuru, who was supported by President Robert Mugabe.
Kangai, a former speaker of parliament, was present in the politburo meeting.
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo confirmed on Wednesday that the issue was discussed although he insisted that “it was on the sidelines of the politburo which had gathered to discuss the hero status of the late National Railways of Zimbabwe general manager retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai and former cabinet minister Enos Nkala”.
The matter was not resolved by the politburo but Gumbo said Kangai did not die a bitter man because of the move to block him from assuming the post.
The death of Kangai, who was the senator-elect for Buhera, has left the fractious Zanu PF Manicaland provincial executive with the task of nominating a replacement.
The party has not had a stable substantive provincial executive in Manicaland as a result of rampant factionalism, and the nomination process is likely to renew the simmering tensions between the factions aligned to Mujuru and outgoing Defence minister Emmerson mnangagwa respectively.
Mike Madiro was the last substantive chairperson and was axed last year along with his deputy Dorothy Mabika for allegedly defrauding Chiadzwa diamond mining companies and stealing 10 beasts that were meant for Mugabe’s birthday celebrations as schisms in the province widened. They were, however, acquitted of the charges.
Kangai would have become a member of the newly introduced provincial council created by the new constitution adopted after the March 16 referendum.
Each political party’s allocation of proportional representation seats was based on the total number of votes it received for directly elected MPs in each province.