A former cabinet minister in ex-President Robert Mugabe’s administration, Walter Chidakwa, has been suspended by the Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial executive, following allegations of plotting to oust President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
In a letter dated March 12, 2018, Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial deputy chairperson, Keith Guzah said Chidakwa, besides plotting against Mnangagwa, had also abetted “criminal elements around Mugabe” in a bid to soil the new Zanu PF leader’s image.
“You are, hereby, served with a prohibition order for 14 days, you should cease forthwith carrying out any party activities.
“A list of charges related to your misconduct are attached.
“Plotting the ouster of His Excellency Cde ED Mnangagwa, president and first secretary of Zanu PF,” the letter said.
It was not clear whether the letter was referring to Mnangagwa’s planned ouster at the height of Zanu PF factional fights, when the latter was serving, as Mugabe’s deputy or it is a new plot against the Zanu PF leader.
Before he assumed the reins of power, Mnangagwa was initially booted out of both the government and the ruling Zanu PF party early November and later launched a comeback with the backing of the military.
The party also accused Chidakwa of being corrupt.
“Heavily corrupt to the core at party and government level, seeking bribes at every transaction level (sic).
“Abuse of office at party level, aiding and abating criminal elements around ex-President with a view to tarnish the name of His Excellency Cde ED Mnangagwa.
“All other ancillary charges will be availed to you in the hearing,” reads part of the letter.
Guzah’s letter did not indicate when the former Mines minister would appear before the disciplinary committee.
Chidakwa has been in and out of prison since the change of guard at Zanu PF and government, first in December on charges of abuse of office and last month charged with contempt of court relating to a letter he wrote while serving as Mines minister.
Efforts to get comment from Chidakwa were fruitless. NewsDay also sought comment from Zanu PF Mashonaland West leadership without success. Chairperson, Ziyambi Ziyambi’s mobile was unreachable, while Philip Chiyangwa and war veterans boss, Christopher Mutsvangwa declined to comment referring questions to acting chairperson, Guzah. Efforts to get through to Guzah also drew blanks.