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WAR veterans and Zanu-PF members in Masvingo yesterday took to the streets calling for the resignation of Politburo members Cde Dzikamai Mavhaire and Cde Kudakwashe Bhasikiti from the government and Zanu-PF.

The demonstrators, drawn from all the province's seven districts, waved placards denouncing Cde Mavhaire and Cde Bhasikiti for allegedly fanning factionalism and working in cahoots with certain elements plotting to unconstitutionally unseat President Robert Mugabe.

The protestors said Cde Mavhaire, who is also the Energy and Power Development Minister and Bhasikiti, who is the Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister, have outlived their purpose both in the party and the government.

Former Masvingo provincial chairperson Cde Lovemore Matuke; former Masvingo Senator and politburo member, Cde Maina Mandava, Masvingo Central Member of the House of Assembly Cde Edmund Mhere, Zimbabwe National Liberations War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) provincial secretary general, Cde Bud Spencer Mandipaka were among the demonstrators.

They marched from Croco-Motors to the Civic Centre. During the march, speakers took turns to attack the two ministers calling for their immediate ouster from their positions from both the party and government.

Addressing the protestors, Cde Matuke said Masvingo was fed up with people like Cde Mavhaire and Cde Bhasikiti who he said were using money in a bid to unseat President Mugabe.

"We are now fed up with Mavhaire and Bhasikiti who are fanning factionalism in this province. We therefore call upon the two to gracefully leave their party and cabinet posts within 72 hours.

"They have done a lot to soil the image of our party. We can't carry on with such people whose actions disrespect the leadership of President Mugabe and support their partner in crime, Vice-President Joice Mujuru who wants to takeover as President," said Cde Matuke.

He said Cde Mavhaire and Bhasikiti should not be allowed anywhere near the Congress slated for early next month in Harare because they will cause confusion during the voting process.

"This province has been described as the champion of factionalism because of these two's behaviour. It is known fact that Mavhaire uses money to buy district chairpersons so that they vote the way he wants. I am also a victim of Vice-President Mujuru's succession plan and Mavhaire together with Bhasikiti were main actors in that miscalculated plan," he said.

Cde Matuke hailed the decision by war veterans to expel their former leader Jabulani Sibanda.

"Mavhaire, Bhasikiti, Sibanda and other members of their gang were working to remove the President and were targeting those opposed to their move like me. These people should thank the President who has been tolerant and keeping them despite the fact that they were backstabbing him for a long time," said Cde Matuke.

Cde Mhere said Bhasikiti together with Mavhaire had created parallel structures in the province and as a result the province was now divided on factional lines.

"We are fully aware that the two had structures that they had created on their own without following the party constitution. They have been doing this together with ousted provincial chairperson Cde Kallisto Gwanetsa. We are saying, no to such madness. It is high time they step down from their positions," said Cde Mhere who is also Masvingo Central House of Assembly Member.

Another provincial member, Cde Jappy Jaboon echoed the same sentiments, adding that the two should be shown the exit for bringing the party name into disrepute.

"The two party leaders have been denouncing the First Family. They are also working with the European Union (EU) and Tongaat Hullet denying landless Zimbabweans land in the Lowveld. All these people are EU trustees and they oversee what is happening at the Sugar Estates. The earlier they are given their marching orders the better," charged Cde Jaboon.

Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union (ZICOSU) national member Benson Zulu said university students were totally against those planning to topple President Mugabe and called for radical action.

"We fully support the resolution made today by Zanu-PF leadership in Masvingo which calls for the immediate stepping down of Bhasikiti and Mavhaire. These people have demonstrated that they do not respect our President, Cde Mugabe so they should go now," said Zulu.

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