HARARE – Former Mines and Mining Development minister Walter Chidakwa has been suspended from Zanu PF for allegedly plotting the ouster of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, marking the beginning of his end in the ruling party.
“You are hereby served with a Prohibition Order for 14 days, you should cease forthwith carrying out any party activities,” the chairperson of the Zanu PF Mashonaland West disciplinary committee Keith Guzah said in a March 12 letter to Chidakwa, who was unreachable for comment yesterday.
The Daily News understands he will be hauled before a disciplinary tribunal to answer charges of plotting against Mnangagwa, being “heavily corrupt to the core at party and government level, seeking bribes at every transaction level.”
He also faces charges of “abuse of office at party level, aiding and abetting criminal elements around the ex-president (Robert Mugabe), with a view to tarnish the image of His Excellency Cde ED Mnangagwa.”
Guzah said “other ancillary charges will be availed to you in the hearing.”
Chidakwa, appointed Mines minister in 2013, is the Zvimba South Member of the National Assembly.
He is Mugabe’s nephew and a close confidante of former first lady Grace Mugabe.
One of the biggest losers in the fight for the leadership of the Zanu PF, Chidakwa has also been arrested and charged with corruption. He is out on bail.
Many Zimbabweans have cheered the corruption purge as an attack on the theft of State funds by the rich and Mnangagwa said those arrested had been “milking” the country for years, promising zero tolerance in his government’s push to punish corruption.
Mnangagwa said in his inaugural State of the nation address that “corruption remains the major source of some of the problems we face as a country and its retarding impact on national development can not be overemphasised.”
Critics have, however, said there has been a factional capture of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission by Mnangagwa’s Team Lacoste Zanu PF faction to settle political scores, amid accusations politics has overthrown the law, with the arrests seen as political fights camouflaged as a crackdown on corruption.