No love lost between ‘Blackman’ and ED

Source: No love lost between ‘Blackman’ and ED – The Standard June 3, 2018

FORMER Kwekwe Central legislator Masango Matambanadzo — affectionately known in Kwekwe and national political circles as “Blackman” partly due to his dark complexion — has opened up to The Standard on the events that led to his recent dismissal from Zanu PF and ejection from Parliament.

By VENERANDA LANGA

Matambanadzo last week reportedly shook President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu PF by organising a massive rally for the National Patriotic Front (NPF) in his former constituency of Kwekwe Central. Several thousand people turned up for the opposition rally in Mnangagwa’s own backyard — thanks to Matambanadzo’s popularity in the city.

The former MP’s popularity appeared to soar several years back after confessing that he was a Grade Two school dropout. Fresh from getting the boot from Mnangagwa, Matambanadzo told The Standard last week that he was very happy to be fired from Zanu PF because he had gone through a lot of hell in the years that he had been in that party.

“When I heard that the Zanu PF politburo had made the decision to fire me, I was very elated because I had been tormented by the party. I felt like someone that had been released from a filthy jail because they used to treat me as if I was a smelly person,” Matambanadzo said.

“Since 2013 when I was elected MP up to the time that I was fired, President Emmerson Mnangagwa made sure that I was removed from Zanu PF party structures until I became an ordinary card-carrying member. It got to the extent that recently during the primary elections, my curriculum vitae was removed so that I could not contest.
“During my tenure as MP, I suffered a lot and I was barred from attending some events in Midlands, and whenever Cabinet ministers came to Kwekwe to officiate at company occasions, I was ordered not to attend.”

Matambanadzo alleged Mnangagwa had always wanted his relative, Cornelius Mupereri, to be Kwekwe Central MP instead of him. And, when he beat Mupereri during the party primary elections years ago, Mnangagwa allegedly began to treat him badly.

“I was always victimised for that to the extent that I was even barred from conducting meetings with councillors in Kwekwe. It was so bad that I was often arraigned before the courts on spurious allegations like that I had insulted a top official. I would be jailed for five to six days, and with such situations, why shouldn’t I be happy for being fired from Zanu PF?”

Matambanadzo said due to his ill-treatment in Zanu PF, he had no choice but to make a decision to cross over to the National Patriotic Front (NPF) led by former Mashonaland East provincial affairs minister Ambrose Mutinhiri. NPF is strongly linked to former president Robert Mugabe, who was ousted by the military in November last year.

He said due to the nasty ordeals he encountered with Mnangagwa while in Zanu PF, he had no reason to wish him well in the forthcoming elections.

“If Mugabe was not removed in an undignified manner like what happened, Zanu PF was going to win the elections, but now there are serious question marks about their victory. Given the rough treatment that I got in Zanu PF and the way they removed me, why should I wish for Mnangagwa to win? In fact,I learnt through the grapevine that Mnangagwa personally ordered that I be fired from the party,” he said.

Matambanadzo said he was shocked that Mnangagwa would treat him in such a manner given that he was the one that campaigned for him and his wife, First Lady Auxillia, in Midlands province.

He alleged that some nicknames given to leaders like Mnangagwa such as “crocodile” told a lot about their personalities and behaviours.

“I was given the nickname ‘blackman’ by people in Kwekwe — maybe because I am the darkest man in Kwekwe. But, people told me that my heart was not as dark as my complexion. So, Mnangagwa’s nickname, ‘crocodile’, possibly emanates from his unforgiving and brutal ways. He failed to forgive people like me and that is why many people are now leaving Zanu PF to join the NPF,” Matambanadzo said.

A week ago, Matambanadzo organised an NPF rally at Amaveni Stadium, which was attended by thousands of supporters. He said to describe the crowd as thousands was a gross understatement.

“The crowd cannot be described as thousands, it was actually several thousand because we printed more than 5 000 t-shirts and they were all finished in no time. The constituency has around 21 000 people. Midlands is Mnangagwa’s stronghold, but Kwekwe is my stronghold. I am a person of the people and I have assisted them a lot.
“One might be a head of state but if they do not treat people well, those people will cross over to other parties or they will remain in Zanu PF but pretend that they support you when they do not,” he said.

The former MP boasted that during his tenure as MP, he came up with very good project proposals to resuscitate the economy despite his poor academic achievements — a Grade Two school dropout.

“I never lie to people, and I have been open that I am a Grade Two MP, but I research and read a lot to the extent that at constituency level during my tenure as MP I wrote intelligent project proposals for the resuscitation of several troubled companies in Kwekwe such as Zimasco. I even sourced $30 million for the revival of Ziscosteel. Actually, the Zisco management appeared before Parliament to present a proposal document which included my suggestions.

“I was also personally instrumental in the increase in gold production by artisanal miners in the country, and the rise in gold production was due to my ideas. These are not fibs, and I even have proof of the documents with stamps. I only have Grade Two education, but I authored all those documents. Educated people are the ones that lie,” Matambanadzo said.

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