THE Zanu PF Midlands provincial disciplinary committee is this weekend expected to pronounce its verdict on the much awaited outcome of the case involving three pro-Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa Provincial Co-ordinating Committee (PCC) members accused of harassing three G40 linked ministers as the province becomes the battlefield in Zanu PF’s succession war.
The three PCC members, Justice Mayor Wadyajena (youth secretary for administration in the Midlands province), Owen Mudha Ncube (secretary for security in the Midlands province) and Edmore Samambwa (youth provincial chairman) were hauled before the disciplinary committee after three ministers from the province — Makhosini Hlongwane, Tapiwa Matangaidze and Annastacia Ndhlovu, wrote a letter to Zanu PF national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko complaining of harassment at the hands of Mnangagwa’s backers.
Hlongwane, Matangaidze and Ndhlovu, who were appointed ministers in September last year said they were being harassed “to remove their loyalty from President Robert Mugabe” and so that they submit “to an alternative narrative”. Most Zanu PF officials believe the alternative narrative was to support Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions.
Kasukuwere, a key member of the G40 faction which has coalesced around First Lady Grace Mugabe, then wrote a letter to Mugabe recommending the dissolution of the Midlands PCC and the suspension of Mnangagwa’s key allies among them the trio and his right hand man July Moyo.
Mugabe is however understood to have said Midlands should handle the matter first before it is escalated to the national level, hence the disciplinary hearings in the province.
Sources in Midlands revealed the provincial disciplinary committee chaired by deputy chairperson Daniel Mackenzie was compiling its findings having held hearings over the weekend.
The sources however said the disciplinary committee, which is packed with Mnangagwa’s backers, was likely to absolve the trio of any wrongdoing.
The G40 element however want the hearings done at national level to ensure the suspension of the trio as well as Moyo, thereby disabling the Mnangagwa faction in the province while sending a message to the vice-president’s backers.
Mphoko, also a key member of G40, chairs the national disciplinary committee.
A Midlands PCC official, close to Mnangagwa, said while there is pressure from both factions to influence the final decision on the case, the three ministers last week failed to provide convincing evidence on the allegations they raised in their letter to Kasukuwere.
“They (ministers) wanted to give evidence together and they ended up saying it was hearsay and failed to bring even a single witness,” the source said, adding: “the disciplinary team is compiling all the reports which will be presented to the PCC this weekend.”
“The accused had witnesses to back their positions. The ministers claim to have been abused in the PCC meetings yet the records show that they were not present most of the times even on the day they state in their letter.
“The ministers could also not explain what they meant when they accused some party members of forcing them to ‘submit to an alternative narrative’.
In a letter seen by the Independent, the ministers wrote: “It must be pointed out that the idea of clubbing all ministers in the Midlands province into submission, is designed to remove their loyalty from President Robert Mugabe to submit them to an alternative narrative.”
By writing the letter, the ministers brought the succession fight to Mnangagwa’s doorstep, as part of G40’s strategy to derail him.
Mnangagwa’s backers on the other hand want the tables turned against the ministers.
Some members of the PCC believe the ministers should have approached provincial leaders before taking the matter to Kasukuwere and Mphoko if they had genuine complaints.