A named minister, widely seen as a chief strategist in the faction led by Emmerson Mnangagwa, attacked transport minister Obert Mpofu calling him a “thief” as Zanu-PF’s last politburo meeting ahead of the crucial congress degenerated into personal attacks.
NewZimbabwe.com Politburo sources said Mpofu received a bashing from a well-known master of venom as the party bigwigs took personal attacks to unprecedented levels Tuesday.
Mpofu’s attack emanated from allegations that he organised a demonstration in which he wanted Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda to be booted out of the provincial structures and at the same time lose his central committee position.
Chaos reigned supreme over the weekend following clashes between Mudenda and Mpofu supporters in Matabeleland North province.
Zanu-PF district officials from Hwange who arrived in Lupane to find Cde Mpofu’s supporters in full voice denouncing the National Assembly Speaker, drew up their own placards targeting the Transport Minister, with some labelling him a “thief” and “part of gamatox” – reference to a conspiratorial group of senior party officials said to be behind a plot to oust President Mugabe.
Fist fights broke out between the two groups and police had to be called, it is alleged by Cde Mpofu and a senior state intelligence officer.
The Politburo members, it is understood, had resolved to “make their views known” during this Politburo meeting which took place yesterday, a day before the start of the congress.
Cde Mpofu could find himself answering charges of “gross misconduct for acting unilaterally and unprocedurally with clear pre-meditation in full view of the media which he invited”, said one official familiar with the developing political furore.
The attack on Mpofu comes as no surprise as many have questioned his rise to become one of the richest men in the country.