By William Milasi
ZANU PF has disqualified Kwekwe Central MP Masango ‘Blackman’ Matambanadzo from contesting the party’s primary polls scheduled for this Saturday.
The legislator has been linked to the fledgling opposition outfit New Patriotic Front (NPF) which has the backing of former president Robert Mugabe.
The ruling party’s Midlands’s provincial executive said Matambanadzo, already suspended from Zanu PF, was disqualified by the politburo.
He is the only parliamentary aspirant from Kwekwe who had his CV rejected by the ruling party.
Approved contestants include Kwekwe Town Clerk Emmanuel Musara, Deputy Mayor John Mapurazi, provincial executive member Jacob Chokururama, Monica Chigaba and cleric Kandros Mugabe.
“Matambanadzo who is the current MP for Kwekwe Central has been disqualified to represent by the party’s elections directorate In Harare,” Zanu PF Midlands spokesperson Cornelius Mupereri told an inter-district meeting Tuesday.
“We have heard that he is now linked to NPF and such a serious allegation makes him unfit to represent the party.
“As you are aware, he has been suspended from the party but that does not mean he is no longer part of us.
“It is only a punitive measure which was put in place so that he will toe the party line but it’s unfortunate that he has decided to go rogue by hobnobbing with the opposition.
“He is still a Zanu PF member and we hope that he will come back to the fold.”
Matambanadzo has since dismissed the NPF allegations.
“It is preposterous to suggest that I belong to NPF. I am not an NPF supporter; I have never attended any of their meetings.
“So, to suggest that I am linked to them that is very absurd.”
He described his tenure in parliament as difficult.
“My term in parliament has not been rosy. I have been victimized, not by external forces, but by people from my own party. I have faced opposition from within.
“I have faced trumped up charges, I have been in and out of police cells and I have encountered numerous accidents all engineered by my foes from within Zanu PF.
“The party even lodged a bid to have me recalled from parliament,” he said.
Earlier this year, the MP was arrested on criminal abuse of public office allegations.
A Kwekwe magistrate dismissed charges levelled against him as “fatally defective”.
In 2015, the Zanu PF Midlands provincial disciplinary committee suspended him for five years and also demanded his recall from parliament for alleged misconduct.