Mutinhiri in messy political fight

Source: Mutinhiri in messy political fight – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 14, 2017

MASHONALAND East Provincial Affairs minister Ambrose Mutinhiri is fighting for his political life as violence mars his bid to remain Marondera West lawmaker, NewsDay has learnt.


Mutinhiri’s son, Tafara, who is at the centre of a brutal attack on a Zanu PF activist for the second time in two months, yesterday claimed there was a sinister plot “to kill my father.”

“These people are fighting my father. They have tried to assassinate him using bottles in the past and these are the same people now engaged in this political mudslinging. You can write whatever you have,” Tafara said yesterday.

The Provincial minister’s son is accused of having brutally attacked one Frank Rwarasika, a Zanu PF ward political commissar, at a meeting in Marondera West’s Mahusekwa council offices on April 3. The meeting had been called to discuss reported claims that Zanu PF procedures were being usurped by activists eyeing Mutinhiri’s seat. On March 28, the Zanu PF youth league provincial deputy secretary for education, identified as M Hapazari, wrote to provincial chairman Kevin Mutsvairo requesting that the latter visits Marondera West.

“I write to request you as youth chair for the province to visit Marondera West constituency on a familiarisation and fact-finding mission to ascertain whether party business and activities are being adhered to in accordance with the rules and regulations stipulated in our party constitution,” Hapazari wrote.

Hapazari, in his letter, fingered senior party officials as well as a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative as being behind the chaos.

“I have observed with great concern the abuse and disregard of party procedures by senior party officials in the constituency, namely Cde Foster Gwanzura, a former provincial member, Mark Chiriseri, and CIO Chakadini. He has also been moving around the constituency with bouncers. As a concerned party leader of Zanu PF, I therefore, request your urgent visit to acquaint yourself with the real situation currently taking place on the ground. Your quick response would be favourable to help set the direction the province is heading,” Hapazari said.

Gwanzura declined to comment, saying: “I am not a party spokesperson and do not speak to the media.”

It was at this meeting that insiders said was attended by Mutinhiri and his son as well as other provincial leaders that fistfights reigned supreme.

“Hapazari’s claims were found to be baseless, but a clear attempt to stop people from campaigning against Mutinhiri. Rwarasika was one of those who spoke before he was brutally attacked by Tafara and other thugs. Rwarasika was detained for almost 12 hours by the group of 10 including Tafara and only rescued by police details,” NewsDay heard.

Tafara, however, denied assaulting Rwarasika.

“These people are accusing me of things that I did not do. You can ask anyone who attended. True, I attended that meeting, but nothing of that sort happened,” he said.

Mutinhiri’s son has a pending political violence case which he confirmed.

“Yes, police have summoned me and said they are investigating,” Tafara said.

Contacted for comment, Mutinhiri answered his mobile phone but went quiet when asked before cutting the call.

The case was reported at Mahusekwa Police Station’s Law and Order section under RRB 3038728 and NewsDay has a copy of a medical affidavit and report showing Rwarasika sustained “moderately serious” injuries and was now complaining of headaches, but strangely the police report claimed “no injury.”