HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa fired Zanu PF political commissar Victor Matemadanda over accusations that he was fanning factionalism and was becoming too ambitious.
Matemadanda was fired during a Zanu PF’s politburo meeting in Harare last week and is now earmarked for a diplomatic posting.
This means that he would lose his other powerful posts such as that of Defence deputy minister and being a Zanu PF politburo and central committee member.
The firebrand Gokwe Central MP will also likely lose his parliamentary seat and his position as Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association secretary-general.
Zanu PF insiders told The Standard that Matemadanda was victim of a factional war that pitted him against Mnangagwa’s allies in his home province of Midlands.
He was also accused of manipulating party structures to position himself ahead of the 2023 elections.
Matemadanda, Zanu PF insiders revealed, was also accused of being big -headed and not respecting senior party deployees at the headquarters.
These include secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, secretary for finance Patrick Chinamasa, administration director Dickson Dzora and Zanu PF school of ideology director Munyaradzi Machacha.
“Matemadanda was working with some senior party members from the Midlands province,” said the senior party official, who requested to remain anonymous.
“These include Larry Mavima (Midlands Provincial Affairs minister), Daniel Mackenzie (Zanu PF provincial chairman for Midlands) and Zanu PF youth chairman for Midlands Edmore Samambwa, among others.
“They called themselves Gokwe Boys and their mission was to destroy July Moyo and Mudha (Owen Ncube) so that they become close to Mnangagwa.
“They considered themselves as super Lacoste, more important than others.
He added: “They were cooking up stories to create a divide between the two and Mnangagwa.
“They desperately wanted July Moyo to be removed from Local Government and were backed by some top officials from Harare, who also do not like July.
“They were also manipulating the district coordinating structures for the 2022 congress as well as positioning their backers as candidates in the 2023 general elections.”
Another official said there were many reports against Matemadanda over the manner in which he mishandled the district coordinating committee elections last December that culminated in violence in some provinces.
“He failed to unite the party and the leadership was also unhappy with his utterances that embarrassed the party in the eyes of the international community,” the official added.
“He was also accused of mingling with former backers of former vice-president Joice Mujuru and G40 under the guise of recruiting for the party.
“The party felt he was doing it for his own selfish interests, not the party.
“The party was not happy when Matemadanda had a graduation luncheon, he was surrounded by those people from Mujuru and G40.”
Matemadanda and Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo were not reachable for comment yesterday.
Zanu PF has battled factionalism since the days of its late leader Robert Mugabe, who was toppled by the military after the infighting in the ruling party got out of hand. – The Standard