By Leopold Munhende
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa was left seething with anger after Zanu PF Mashonaland Central provincial chairperson Kazembe Kazembe’s decision to snub an event he officiated at in Mazowe, NewZimbabwe.com can report.
Mazowe is in Mashonaland Central province.
Kazembe, who is also the Home Affairs Minister, instead opted to go on a campaign trail for the retention of his heavily threatened chairmanship in Mbire district.
Kazembe, who according to sources had full knowledge of Mnangagwa’s visit, chose not to attend his unveiling of a foundation stone to mark construction of University of Zimbabwe’s (UZ) quinary hospital in Mazowe, and decided instead chose to go campaigning in Mbire.
He is facing a serious threat on his foothold to the provincial chairmanship from businessman Tafadzwa Musarara, who has in the past few months mounted a serious onslaught.
With factionalism reaching extreme levels within the ruling party, Mnangagwa is said to be worried by the act of “indiscipline” shown by Kazembe.
“Kazembe bunked the event, opting to go to Mbire for his campaigns,” a source from Mashonaland Central province said.
“He is the provincial chairperson and protocol demands of him to receive the president who is the party’s First Secretary. This got Mnangagwa worried and the Office of the President (and Cabinet) concerned.
“It is the worst act of indiscipline and exposes his (Kazembe) hunger for power.”
Kazembe has been identified as one of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s foot soldiers in the province in the heated factional fights that have been going on since 2020.
His quest to reclaim the provincial chair post in Zanu PF’s indefinitely suspended elections is being challenged by Mnangagwa’s ally Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) chairperson Musarara.
Businessman James Makamba is also a dark horse in the race, which saw former Cabinet Minister Lazarus Dokora opting out after targeted violence and an attempt on his life.
The provincial elections were suspended by Zanu PF’s top decision making body, the Politburo, following violent clashes between party members during campaigns and casting of ballots.
In attendance at Mnangagwa’s event Friday, were Chiwenga, Higher Education Minister Amon Murwira, UZ vice chancellor Paul Mapfumo and Mashonaland Central Minister of State Monica Mavhunga.