Mnangagwa fires Chiwenga loyalists

ZANU PF Politiburo – the ruling party’s highest decision making body – on Wednesday fired Cleveria Chizema and Tendai Savanhu for seeking to foment discord in the ruling party after they allegedly sought to back demonstrations on July 31.

The expelled politburo secretary for health, Chizema, was found in possession of posters and pamphlets that denounced President Emmerson Mnangagwa while extolling vice-president Constantino Chiwenga ahead of the July 31 protests that were thwarted by security forces.

Mnangagwa told the Politiburo that the expulsions were aimed at sending a clear message that anyone who does not follow the party line will be thrown out.

Observers say the expulsion of Chizema and Savanhu is a subtle attempt to reign in the faction rallying behind Chiwenga to topple Mnangagwa.

This comes as the ruling party is said to be torn between two lines, with one hand representing the old guard and the other backing Chiwenga.

“Politburo will recall that during the last session, we received a preliminary security report on the acts of disloyalty by Cde Chizema. I have since gone through the detailed final security report, which reveals gross and glaring acts of disloyalty and treachery by Cde Chizema. As such, Cde Chizema can no longer continue to be a member of the party,” Mnangagwa said.

Zanu PF acting spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa told the media after the Politiburo that Chizema and Savanhu, former Mbare MP, had been expelled from the ruling party for fomenting discord in the party.

“The Politburo unanimously decided that Mrs Cleveria Chizema be fired from the party because of the seriousness of her case, in which she did not deny any wrongdoing,” Chinamasa said.

“She joins her accomplice, Tinashe Maduza who was expelled in the previous Politburo. The Politburo warned that any elements bent on or working to split our leadership and dividing the party will be treated with no leniency,” he added.