BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
ZANU PF youth league secretary for indigenisation Mike Chimombe is under fire for allegedly fanning factionalism and sponsoring violent gangs that are reportedly decampaigning President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Chinhoyi.
Chimombe, who is also Affirmative Action Group (AAG) president, has reportedly turned into a terror campaign leader, terrorising residents in Makonde and Chinhoyi.
Information deputy minister Kindness Paradza recently wrote to the party’s national chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri asking her to intervene and rein in Chimombe.
In a letter to Zanu PF chairperson and Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri dated May 10, 2021, Paradza, who is also Makonde MP and Zanu PF district co-ordinating committee (DCC) chairperson, alleged that Chimombe and his rogue group had rendered some districts ungovernable.
“Chimombe is now behaving like a warlord in Makonde, in particular Chinhoyi constituency, where he has divided the party by sponsoring a gang of hooligans whose actions and behaviour are working against the party and our leader, His Excellency the President, Cde ED Mnangagwa.
“Cde chairman, if no action is taken against Mike Chimombe now, as your DCC chairman, I will be forced to abandon Chinhoyi and concentrate on Mhangura and Makonde constituencies only,” he said.
Chimombe is alleged to have unleashed hooligans who disrupted an inter-district meeting in Chinhoyi on May 8, 2021.
“This is now the second time that he (Chimombe) has done it, using the same hooligans who hide behind the party, simply because they will be wearing his hovhorosi (overalls) attire bearing a Zanu PF logo,” Paradza said.
He further alleged that Chimombe’s “thugs” were terrorising bona fide party supporters, adding that there was no peace in Chinhoyi.
“Instead of us uniting as a party and fighting to regain the seat which has been under MDC since 2008, Mike Chimombe has seen it fit to drive away the support we currently have in Chinhoyi,” Paradza said.
He said the May 8 meeting was so violent that he had to be evacuated from the venue by security agents.
Police had to throw teargas canisters to disperse Chimombe’s marauding gangsters “who were visibly drunk”.
“They were accusing me of protecting the newly-elected Makonde DCC youth affairs secretary, Ketty Chanetsa, who they want removed and replaced with one of their own who had lost elections.”
The Makonde MP said the issue was reported to Mashonaland West provincial chairperson Ziyambi Ziyambi.
However, he said Ziyambi appeared powerless as Chimombe boasted that he was Mnangagwa’s confidante.
“When I was elected DCC chairman last December, both Mike Chimombe and Phillip Chiyangwa told me that they would do whatever it takes to undermine all the party programmes in Makonde simply because I had defeated their own preferred candidate, Misheck Nyarubero, whom they had sponsored against me,” Paradza said.
He further alleged that Chiyangwa and Women Affairs deputy minister Jennifer Mhlanga had pushed for the expulsion of Mnangagwa during the late former President Robert Mugabe’s era.
“I can assure you that if no action is taken against Mike Chimombe and to a larger extent Phillip Chiyangwa, then we will not recapture Chinhoyi from the MDC. But Zanu PF is bigger than individuals,” he said.
Both Chiyangwa and Chimombe were not picking calls and also did not respond to questions sent to them on WhatsApp.
In the 2018 harmonised elections, Mnangagwa garnered only 9 000 votes against MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa’s 18 000 votes in Chinhoyi constituency.