via Byo chair out, Goche, Mavhaire new targets 16 November 2014
ZANU PF’s Bulawayo chairman, Callistus Ndlovu, was given the boot Sunday and faces arrest over allegations of looting some $15,000 in party funds as the purge of senior officials loyal to Vice-President Joice Mujuru continues.
Ndlovu becomes the eighth Zanu PF provincial chairman to be axed in a campaign aimed at blocking Mujuru from challenging President Robert Mugabe at the ruling party’s December elective congress.
Other chairmen to suffer the same fate include Kalisto Gwanetsa (Masvingo), Amos Midzi (Harare), Jason Machaya (Midlands), Temba Mliswa (Mashonaland West), Andrew Langa (Matabeleland South) and John Mvundura (Manicaland) and Ray Kaukonde (Mashonaland East).
The purges, now recalibrated to ensure the embattled Mujuru does not even retain her current position, have also seen war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda fired from Zanu PF and party spokesman Rugare Gumbo suspended for five years.
Both were key and vocal allies of Mujuru with presidential affairs minister and Zanu PF administration secretary Didymus Mutasa – another vocal backer of the VP – now under pressure to quit or face the sack.
Other cabinet ministers under pressure include Nicholas Goche and Dzikamai Mavhaire.
Mujuru has denied planning a coup but the government-controlled Sunday Mail upped the stakes at the weekend by sensationally claiming that Gumbo and Mutasa had hinted Mugabe would be assassinated if he dared block his deputy from taking over.
Ndlovu was imposed Bulawayo chairman last April by national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo as Mujuru and her faction were in the ascendency with the VP tightening her grip on the party, apparently with Mugabe’s blessing.
But, a year later, the tables have turned and Mujuru is in serious trouble, with Mugabe declaring their political “marriage” was over.
Allegations against Ndlovu included fanning factionalism, sabotaging First Lady Grace Mugabe, allegedly misappropriating party funds and invading ZAPU leader Dumiso Dabengwa’s farm.
“Some time this year, Prof Ndlovu and his deputy Cde Dube through the secretary of security Cde Mhlanga invaded Mazwi and (Dumiso) Dabengwa’s farms on the outskirts of the city using party members.
“When the invasion later failed, they abandoned the party members who are now facing imminent detention,” read the petition signed as part of the no confidence vote against Ndlovu.
Ndlovu, implicated in the 1980s Willowvale vehicle scandal, was also accused of looting more than US$15,000 raised from the sale of party cards.
“Professor Ndlovu openly declined/omitted to announce the endorsement of President Mugabe as First Secretary of the party and Dr Grace Mugabe as the Women’s League Secretary during a Provincial Coordinating Committee meeting held on November 2, 2014 leading to Central Committee member Godfrey Malaba doing the announcement.
“This was in line with endorsements made by the Women’s League and Youth Wing conferences. This demoralised members of the PCC who expected the chairman of the province to announce the endorsements.”
Regarding the looting of party funds, the petitioners claimed: “Headquarters issued 14,000 forms for the cards of which 7,542 were sold by the time we went to the PCC on November 2, 2014 for $2,50 each, $1 meant for the card and the other dollar for that particular month’s subscription while the 50 cents was for the provincial administration.
“The total amount realised was $18,855. The money that had been banked was a little over $3,000 according to Cde Chiponda’s report instead of $15,084. Where’s the rest of the money?”
Reached for comment by the Bulawayo Chronicle over his sacking, Ndlovu said: “I can’t comment, go back and ask … who signed the petition, as far as we know this is just fiction.”