KWEKWE- The prevalent divisions in Zanu PF Kwekwe district were on public display on Thursday during an inter-district meeting, giving credence to claims that there is bad blood between the party’s losing parliamentary candidate in last year’s harmonized elections, Kandros Mugabe and high-ranking officials within the district.
The meeting- a preparatory episode for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s planned visit to the Midlands province for a rally in Shurugwi- was held at the party’s district headquarters in the mining town of Kwekwe.
Mugabe, who also leads Zvipo ZveMweya Apostolic church, was openly attacked by his intraparty election rival and provincial member Jacob Chokururama who blocked calls from the congregated supporters for the flamboyant business magnate to take to the podium and address the gathering. Chokururama, who fell to Mugabe in the party’s contentious primaries last year, also attacked his victor for ‘being surrounded by bouncers who block him away from the people’.
In turn, Mugabe had to address a separate gathering at the same venue after the official inter-district meeting had ended, where he took a scathing attack on ‘jealous’ officials, in apparent reference to Chokururama.
“We do not want leaders who are not accessible. In Zanu PF, we need leaders we can talk to freely, without being blocked. Even the president can walk scot-free in town. How many times have you seen him buying groceries at TM? Even Amai (First Lady Auxillia) Mnangagwa visits patients at public hospitals unescorted. You must stop blocking the MP (Mugabe) from the people”, said Chokururama in apparent reference to the cleric’s security details at the meeting.
Mugabe, who owns various mining claims in Kwekwe town, arrived at the inter-district meeting in company of a convoy of three top-of-the-range Land Cruiser SUVs. His security details, clad in black sunglasses and party regalia, helped the ex-parliamentary aspirant off his latest 2019 Toyota Land Cruiser V8, where he was being chauffeured.
Addressing the gathering after the meeting, Mugabe said his ‘doors have always remained open’ for party supporters who need financial help from him. He also took a dig at ‘jealous’ party officials for reportedly backing top lawyer and losing Independent candidate Josniah Maupa in his stead during last year’s elections.
Maupa, who was a surprise candidate after he threw his hat into the ring for the Kwekwe central fight at the eleventh hour, anchored his campaign on Zanu PF support after he publicly said he was supporting the ruling party’s candidate President Mnangagwa in his presidential contest against close contender Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance and twenty-one other candidates.
Mugabe further said he will book for a meeting with party supporters at the Zanu PF Kwekwe district headquarters for a ‘constituency meeting’ where he said he will donate money to vendors, small-scale entrepreneurs and artisanal miners.
The Kwekwe central seat was retained by ex-Zanu PF lawmaker Masango Matambanadzo of the National Patriotic Front.