WHY ED SACKED MUTSVANGWA newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

WHY ED SACKED MUTSVANGWA newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

President Emmerson Mnangagwa appeared to swing the ax at Veterans Minister Christopher Mutsvangwa after questions about the Zanu PF spokesman’s dealings with foreign investors and political maneuverings.

Mutsvangwa’s dismissal was announced through a statement signed by Mnangagwa’s spokesman George Charamba yesterday, where he also revealed the appointment of three new deputy ministers.

Former ZBC staffer Omphile Marobi has been appointed Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcast Services, Sheila Chikomo will deputize for Frederick Shava in the Foreign Affairs and International Trade portfolio, and Benjamin Kubikira is Winston Chitando’s deputy in the Ministry of Domestic and Public Works.

The announcement of Mutsvangwa’s dismissal was a footnote in the brief statement, but government sources said Mnangagwa wielded the ax primarily because of the war veterans leader’s business dealings.

“Besides politics, there are two main reasons behind his dismissal,” the senior government official said.

“There have been questions about his deals with Chinese companies opening stores in Zimbabwe.

“The other reason relates to the dealings of one of his sons, who runs some questionable businesses.”

It was not immediately clear which of Mutsvangwa’s sons was linked to his father’s problems, but recently there were allegations that Neville announced he was selling Starlink internet kits in Zimbabwe.

Starlink has not yet obtained permission to operate in Zimbabwe, and the Zimbabwe Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said that selling the American company’s Internet kits is illegal.

Mutsvangwa is a former ambassador to China and has been at the forefront of promoting Chinese investments in Zimbabwe.

“He is always present at the airport to receive Chinese delegations and has a hand in most of the deals concluded by companies from this country. There is growing concern about his influence,” the source said.

It was also revealed that the war veterans were at war with Mutsvangwa over the way he was handling a business deal with a major Chinese investor and the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA).

One veterans leader said they had not seen any documents proving the association was part of the deal and believed Mutsvangwa had privatized it.

Mutsvangwa also raised eyebrows last week when he appeared to challenge a change in the board members of state-controlled companies Zimpapers and ZBC.

Mnangagwa approves the appointment and dismissal of boards of directors at parastatals and companies such as Zimpapers. Mutsvangwa claimed the sacked board members delivered victory for Zanu PF in the disputed 2023 coordinated elections.

His wife, Monica, appointed the board members when she was information minister before she was transferred to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs after Mnangagwa publicly complained about the ministry’s poor performance.

Meanwhile, some Zanu PF insiders believe that Mutsvangwa’s dismissal has something to do with an alleged plot to appoint him to the Zanu PF presidency as one of its vice-presidents.

He was allegedly seeking support especially in the Midlands province to replace Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.

The sources said that Mutsvangwa was able to seek support from some diplomats in the country, as he did in 2017, when he became the face of the military coup that ousted the late President Robert Mugabe.

Mutsvangwa became the face of the coup representing a constituency of disaffected ex-combatants and former and current officers fed up with Mugabe’s misrule and his attempt to make his wife Grace his successor.

Mutsvangwa was not picking up calls when contacted for comment yesterday.

“He was planning purges within the ranks of the ZANU-PF to weaken the faction allied with Chiwenga, as he considered himself the legitimate candidate to represent Mnangagwa,” a source said.

He added: “Mnangagwa was good at spreading gossip and spreading rumours, and he fell by his own sword.

He added, “His relationship with Chiwenga became so tense that Mnangagwa had to sack him to put out the flames.”

Mutsvangwa is not new to the controversy surrounding his ambitions to become a member of the presidency.

He played a pivotal role in the purges of former Vice President Joyce Mujuru and her supposed allies over allegations of plotting to overthrow the late Mugabe.

Following Mujuru’s dismissal, he was appointed Minister of Veterans, a cabinet position in which he served for a few months before his dismissal in 2016.

Mutsvangwa was fired for gross indiscipline after he called a so-called illegal veterans’ meeting said to be focused on succeeding Mugabe.

At the time, Mutsvangwa and his colleagues were believed to be linked to the ZANU-PF faction that wanted Mnangagwa to take power as Mugabe’s successor.

He was later expelled from Zanu PF over the same allegations.

Mutsvangwa later became the face of the war veterans behind the military coup that ousted Mugabe. In 2017, war veterans distributed a document entitled Blue Ocean, criticizing Mugabe’s misrule.

Mugabe reacted angrily to the document. The document said ZANU-PF has three options, with Mnangagwa representing Track One (where the party and government should go), Mugabe (Track Two – where the president wants the party to go) and Grace (Path Three – the road to self-destruction). .

The Blue Ocean Strategy also claimed that Mugabe was the real power behind the G40, adding that there was animosity between the veteran ruler and Mnangagwa.

He became an advisor to Mnangagwa after the coup, but was dismissed shortly after. Standard.

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