Two Mujuru allies arrested for theft

via Two Mujuru allies arrested for theft 20/11/2014

TWO of Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s key allies in Manicaland province have been arrested for allegedly stealing party funds in what observers say is a new phase in the plot to weaken the vice-president’s grip on the party.

Zanu PF provincial Women’s League chairperson, Joyline Porusingazi, and treasurer, Pedigree Matara, were arrested for allegedly stealing $55,000 from the league’s account over a period of four months.

They are being accused of using the money to further Mujuru’s factional interests. Even though Mujuru is the acting president while President Robert Mugabe attends a conference in Equatorial Guinea, she was powerless to stop the arrests.

“The two women were picked up two days ago. Matara was picked up first and then Porusingazi today (Thursday). They have been charged with theft or alternatively fraud,” said a police officer who declined to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

“It is alleged the money was used to prop-up Mujuru’s faction ahead of the Women’s League congress held in August.”

Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Enoch Chishiri, could not be drawn on the matter saying he was still to be briefed about it.

Mugabe left Mujuru in charge of the country while he travelled to Equatorial Guinea for an African Union summit.

Mujuru is currently under siege from hawks within Zanu PF who want her out at the party’s December congress.

They accuse her of plotting to oust Mugabe at the congress, a charge she has denied.

The Zanu PF hawks have upped the stakes recently accusing Mujuru, party chairman Didymus Mutasa, suspended party spokesman Rugare Gumbo and Labour Minister Nicholas Goche of plotting to assassinate Mugabe.

Acting Zanu PF women’s league chairperson, Happiness Nyakuedzwa, confirmed the missing funds.

“The two ladies are suspended and as we tried to find out what has been happening we discovered that the league had a lot of money that they cannot account for,” she said.

“At least $8,000 was recovered at Matara’s house and that only goes to show the lengths to which these people wanted to go in order to remove the President by force.”

The money, according to Nyakuedzwa, was supposed to be used to organise a fundraising dinner for the party in Manicaland and for other party “programmes and projects not factional issues”.

Mutasa has also been dragged into the matter after he reportedly tried to block investigations.

“Mutasa made a few calls to senior cops in the province seeking to have the case killed. It did not work and the women are now in custody.

“Despite his two hour meeting with President Mugabe at which he seemed to have repented he is still very much behind Mujuru,” said a source.

Mutasa declined to comment.

“I am not talking to the media, hamunzwi here imi vanhu kana ndichiti handidi (I am not commenting can’t you hear that),” said Mutasa.

There have been calls for Mujuru, Mutasa and Gumbo to be arrested on treason and corruption charges while there have been a litany of charges levelled against the vice-president’s backers especially the chairpersons.