The Herald (Harare)

26 August 2014

Zimbabwe: Plan to Push First Lady Out of Harare

Photo: New Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe kissing his wife Grace

HARARE provincial political commissar Cde Shadreck Mashayamombe approached Mashonaland West politician and Politburo member Cde Patrick Zhuwawo advising him to find "a political home" for the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, saying she had no place in Harare.

The revelations came as Harare Province convenes a Provincial Co-ordinating Committee meeting today to, among other things, suspend Youth League chairperson Cde Godfrey Gomwe for reportedly organising youths to attend a meeting that endorsed Amai Mugabe in Mazowe without the blessing of the provincial leadership recently.

The Women's League met in Mazowe this month and endorsed Amai Mugabe to be appointed the league's boss when the party holds its congress in December.

The decision was made official at the Women's League Conference earlier this month.

Cde Zhuwawo confirmed receiving phone calls from some members in Harare Province imploring him to "accommodate" the First Lady in party structures in Mashonaland West.

"I found it to be highly irregular and very mischievous considering that it is common cause that the First Family has always voted at Mhofu Primary School in Highfield," Cde Zhuwawo said.

"Because I am a Politburo member, I then chose to engage with a fellow Politburo member (Deputy secretary for Indigenisation and Economic empowerment Cde Tendai Savanhu) who is at the same level with me." Cde Zhuwawo said the approach by Cde Mashayamombe, was causing unnecessary confusion in the party.

"I told him that the PC was causing unnecessary confusion on an issue that anybody of sober and sound mind should be aware of and requested that Cde Savanhu engages the leadership of Harare Province," he said. Cde Zhuwawo said he had done so to stop the PC and the province's "clandestine attempt to push out the First Lady from Harare Province."

"I indicated that considering that the First Lady has a husband and a family, an attempt to push her out of Harare also implies an attempt to push the President (Mugabe) out of Harare," Cde Zhuwawo said.

He said he advised Cde Savanhu that the agendas that were being pushed by the Harare provincial leadership could be read "an attempt to push the President and the First Family out of Harare, which is the capital city of the country and relegates VaMugabe to a village yekwaZvimba," he said.

Cde Zhuwawo added that the Harare Provincial leadership persisted in pushing that agenda even to a point where his wife Cde Beauty Zhuwawo, had to also engage a Cde Bwititi, a candidate of the Women's League national executive from Harare to also tell her to stop attempting to push the First lady out of Harare.

Cde Beauty Zhuwawo is the Mashonaland West Province Zanu-PF Women's League treasurer.

"Zvakureva kuti province yeHarare haidi kuti VaMugabe vave vari museat of power," Cde Zhuwawo said.

Comrades Savanhu and Mashayamombe could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Zanu-PF provincial chairman Ambassador Amos Midzi, yesterday confirmed that a PCC meeting was set for today.

"We have our normal Provincial Coordinating Committee meeting tomorrow (today) and the issues to come up will cover a variety of matters about the province. However, I cannot pre-empt the debate and agenda of the meeting. Honestly, you are asking me to do something which is unfair," he said.

Sources close to developments, however, said the meeting was convened to deal with elements going against the province's bid to undermine the First Lady's ascendancy to the helm of the Women's League.

Youth League deputy chair for Harare province Cde Takataka was reportedly assaulted at a meeting on Saturday in Mbare allegedly in the presence of Cde Savanhu.

Skirmishes also ensued in Highfield during Zanu-PF Women's League meeting to reaffirm the League's support for Amai Mugabe.

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