HARARE – Zanu PF Mashonaland Central chairperson, Dickson Mafios, has upped the ante against sacked former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, saying he must be probed for abusing Command Agriculture inputs and grabbing mines.
This comes as the province was among the first to recommend Mnangagwa’s expulsion from Zanu PF, which happened on Wednesday.
Speaking at a Zanu PF youths rally on Wednesday, Mafios told President Robert Mugabe that his former deputy was corrupt and must be investigated and arrested.
“President, we thank you that you have taken a good move against Mnangagwa, we were worried about his conduct…after this move, you must make sure that Mnangagwa is investigated against the abuse of Command Agriculture inputs,” he said, adding that “it was a shame that a lawyer and vice president abused Command Agriculture inputs to advance his factional agendas”.
“Mnangagwa also grabbed many mines which belong to small-scale miners. He was abusing his authority as the VP to grab whatever he wants. We say Mnangagwa must be arrested because he is corrupt, he must face the music,” Mafios said to the delight and wild cheers from Zanu PF supporters.
Interestingly, a Zanu faction — Team Lacoste — allegedly led by Mnangagwa faction in April this year organised massive demonstrations against Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Mafios, accusing them of setting parallel structures and grabbing various mining claims in Mashonaland Central Province.
Mnangagwa who was fired from the VP post on Monday was Mugabe’s deputy since 2014, when he took over the position from Joice Mujuru, who was dismissed from government and Zanu PF on similar allegations.
Prior to his dismissal, the 75-year-old had held a number of senior positions in Mugabe’s government among them minister of State Security (1980 to 1988), minister of Justice (1988 to 2000), Speaker of Parliament (2000 to 2005), minister of Rural Housing (2005 to 2009), minister of Defence (2009 to 2013), and minister of Justice from (2013 to 2017).
His rise to power began as a young man, when he helped direct Zimbabwe’s 1970s war of independence and later became the country’s spy-master during the 1980s civil conflict.
He worked closely with Dan Stannard, who was one of the few whites who remained in the Zimbabwean secret service after the departure of Ken Flower.
In 2004, he lost his post as Zanu PF secretary for administration and was instead named secretary for legal affairs, in what was considered a demotion.
As secretary for administration he had been able to place his supporters in key party positions.
The move followed reports that Mnangagwa had been campaigning too hard for the post of vice-president, backed by his then close ally former Information minister Jonathan Moyo.