HARARE – THE ruling Zanu PF has ordered former Masvingo provincial minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti to retract his motion from the National Assembly condemning government for
failing to compensate Tokwe-Mukorsi villagers.
Zanu PF legislators who briefed the Daily News yesterday said Bhasikiti was ordered to withdraw his motion during a ruling party parliamentary caucus meeting held last week.
“One of the highlights of the caucus meeting was that Bhasikiti was ordered to withdraw his motion on Chingwizi,” said one Zanu PF MP who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“He was accused of using privileged information that he gathered as minister of Masvingo to move the motion. When this was said, Bhasikiti had already left the meeting but I understand he was notified about the development.”
Joram Gumbo, the Zanu PF chief whip, declined to comment on the matter, referring further questions to Bhasikiti.
“Why don’t you ask Bhasikiti because he is the best person to talk about this,” Gumbo said. “He is in town and he is available. He was the one who moved the motion which is now on the order paper, so get hold of him.”
Bhasikiti could neither deny nor confirm the decree.
“I cannot comment on that at the moment," he said.
Last week, Bhasikiti, a perceived loyalist of former Vice President Joice Mujuru, moved a motion seeking urgent government intervention to alleviate the plight of thousands of villagers who were moved to Chingwizi Transit Camp after they were displaced by floods at Tokwe-Mukorsi.
“Alarmed by government’s reluctance to address the problems affecting the Chingwizi flood victims, I move that this august House press for urgent intervention in the area,” Bhasikiti said in the National Assembly.
The Mwenezi East lawmaker’s motion seeks to force government to immediately complete the resettlement scheme, provide irrigation because it is a largely low rainfall area and fully compensate the victims — promises that have not been fulfilled since disaster struck 18 months ago.
The motion might have been good news for the flood survivors who have endured a gruelling life since February last year when they were moved to the camp, where they are having to contend with shortages of food, lack of adequate water, diarrhoea outbreaks and huddled in makeshift shelter among other challenges.
Bhasikiti’s motion is also likely to further forment a turf war between him and his successor, Shuvai Mahofa.
Since taking over from him, Mahofa has been overtly critical of Bhasikiti, accusing him of deliberately destroying plush mango plantations at his farm in Mwenezi, abuse of office and divisive tendencies among other things.
Already, there are calls in Masvingo that Bhasikiti should be fired from Zanu PF.
Bhasikiti has shrugged off allegations that he sourced funding used to prop-up the Mujuru faction.