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Mugabe savages Mahofa, Hungwe

by Staff reporter
04 Jul 2016 at 14:24hrs | Views
President Robert Mugabe is apparently furious with three of his ministers who stand accused of grabbing sugar plantations owned by white commercial farmers in Masvingo Province, and who are allegedly distributing the land to Zanu PF followers on factional lines.

Zanu PF Masvingo provincial chairperson, Amasa Nenjana, told the Daily News yesterday that Mugabe had dressed down Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora, his Psychomotor counterpart Josiah Hungwe and Provincial minister Shuvai Mahofa after he was informed about their alleged shenanigans during a meeting with legislators from the region at State House on Saturday.

The three are said to be linked to a faction pushing for Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed the increasingly frail nonagenarian.

Nenjana said Mugabe got angry after the legislators told him that the trio were in the business of forcibly taking sugar cane plots from Tongaat Hullet and "giving them to their relatives and political allies", as well as distributing food aid along factional lines.

"The president said he had been asked about the issue while he was in Botswana and wanted to know who was behind it. The MPs were very frank, pointing fingers at the trio who could not explain why they were going against the party's position that such land would not be acquired.

"It was so embarrassing to see adults appearing stupid, failing to explain themselves and the president had no kind words for them, ordering that they keep their hands off the sugar plantations.

"It was clear that Mombeshora had been used by Mahofa and Hungwe to further their factional agendas and he had to apologise to the president," Nenjana said.

Contacted for comment, Mahofa confirmed that the meeting had taken place, but refused to divulge what had been discussed.

"You can ask the people at State House because as a civil servant I am not allowed to tell you what was discussed there," Mahofa told the Daily News before hanging up her phone.

But Nenjana said the issue of the missing $2 000 that was donated to First Lady Grace Mugabe's Mazowe orphanage last year by provincial women's league boss Veronica Makonese, had also come under discussion.

It has been reported that the money was not handed over to Grace after it was allegedly converted to personal use by Mahofa.

"We also told the president about the $20 000 donated by Tongaat towards the First Lady's birthday, as well as the missing $2 000 and he was not happy about the corrupt way the funds were handled.

"Mahofa, once again, struggled to account for the money. But the president just let it be. He directed us to go back and work together for the good of the party," he said.

The Saturday meeting in the capital was a continuation of the one Mugabe held with MPs and senators from the region in Chiredzi last week, where he sought to douse the factional fires consuming Zanu PF in the politically volatile province as the bruising war to succeed the nonagenarian gets hotter.

During the Chiredzi meeting, about 20 legislators believed to be linked to the Generation 40 faction, which is opposed to Mnangagwa's presidential ambitions, handed an incriminating report to Mugabe, accusing the Midlands godfather's allies of fomenting factionalism in the province.

The report cited Hungwe and Mahofa as key Mnangagwa allies, accusing them of blocking some MPs from working in their constituencies.

It also recommended that the duo be sacked from the government. But in typical fashion, Mugabe only ordered the feuding factions to work together harmoniously.

"We also told the president in their (Hungwe and Mahofa) presence that in some constituencies the two's actions had given life to (former vice president Joice Mujuru's party) ZPF and the MDC, which have been making inroads in the province because our MPs were not able to work freely.

"We are, however, happy that the president gave leadership and now we are going back to work together as a team. It is sad that we have had to do all this, but I think both Mahofa and Hungwe should have read the mood earlier and tried to talk to the people here.

"That way, they could have saved themselves from all this embarrassment, but they thought that they were untouchable," Nenjana added.

Out of the 26 legislators in Masvingo, only six — believed to be in the Mnangagwa camp — did not sign the damning report implicating Mahofa and Hungwe.

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Source - dailynews