Zanu PF declares war on name droppers, party workers fired

The view of Harare from my room at the Rainbow Towers Hotel. The tall building to right (about 300 m away) is the headquarters of the ruling party, Zanu PF.

ZANU PF has described “name dropping” a disease before declaring war on scammers seeking bribes and other favours using President Emmerson Mnangagwa or the First Family’s names.

Acting ruling party national spokesperson, Patrick Chinamasa also confirmed an unspecified number of Zanu PF employees had been fired after they were found guilty of “name dropping”.

He was addressing journalists at the weekly Zanu PF media briefing.

“Name dropping – it’s a disease. The Zanu PF revolutionary party is declaring war on name droppers. Here at Zanu PF, we have fired some of these name droppers, conmen and con-women who abuse the name of the party leadership,” he said.

“They allege they are relatives of senior leaders and go about conning people in the name of our leadership. That should stop forthwith.”

Chinamasa urged the media to “expose these fraudsters and extortionists whenever you come across them” before he threatened to name and shame after full investigations.

“They are in various forms. Some whenever they get an opportunity to meet our president, who as you know has declared an open-door policy, they ask for selfies and the president obliges, which is a good thing.

“We will never ask him to stop obliging to those who ask for selfies. But when they go out, they use these selfies whether in a bar to get people to buy them drinks or to use them for extortionist purposes. That should stop.”

Chinamasa also took a swipe at Mnangagwa’s relatives for attempting to influence and interfere with his presidential duties.

“Then you also have relatives. Some of them are not even relatives, who go about name dropping that they are related to the president. If they are related to the president, Zanu PF is saying they have no interest whatsoever in your relationship with the president.

“It has nothing to do with us and we take strong exception that you are seeking, even as relatives, to appropriate the president to you. The president is a national figure, is president to all of us. We would not want any relative to appropriate the name of the president or to put the president in their pockets. The president will not fit in their pockets.

Chinamasa advised government employees who are approached by people using Mnangagwa or other senior officials names seeking services to first call Zanu PF offices for verification.

“Phone us to verify whether they are coming from the party because we also want to know who they are so that we can take appropriate action against such people who put the name of the president, First Family and Zanu PF into utter disrepute,” he said. – Newzim