By Tichaona Sibanda
11 February 2013
The decision by ZANU PF to suspend its Manicaland provincial chairman, Mike Madiro, is being viewed by some as a plot engineered to weaken Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions.
Madiro is a lifelong ally of Mnangagwa who worked under the ZANU PF strongman for 15 years as Director of Finance, at the party headquarters in Harare.
Mnangagwa served for many years as the Secretary for Finance. Until now Mnangagwa has been a powerful figure leading the race to succeed President Robert Mugabe.
The provincial chairman was suspended last week, together with four other senior members from the party, following allegations of fraud, corruption, theft, embezzlement and dishonesty.
The five are alleged to have misappropriated $700,000 collected from diamond mining companies at Chiadzwa, on the pretext it was meant for party activities.
A source told us this could yet be another plan to block Mnangagwa from succeeding Mugabe by plotting to get rid of provincial chairs who are behind the defence minister. There have been several attempts over the years to
stop Mnangagwa in his tracks but with little success.
Last year the party plunged into political turmoil when the politburo disbanded the District Coordinating Committees, after Mnangagwa’s camp had captured the majority of the countrywide structures.
The politburo charged that he had used his wealth to buy votes, but Mnangagwa’s faction saw this as a plot to block him from using the structures to have a run at the Presidency.
In 2009, just as it seemed Mnangagwa had garnered enough support to win the Vice-Presidency of the party, a ZANU PF congress resolution stated that one of the party’s two deputy presidents had to be a woman. This cleared the way for Mujuru to be elected to that post.