A proper boxing match almost happened at Gokwe Town Council last week when Team Lacoste faction members teamed up with an MDC councillor against rival faction officers from the G40 camp.

The the city fathers traded insults over a portrait picture of President Robert Mugabe  which had gone missing from the boardroom.

 Ward 5 councillor Emmanuel Mafa triggered the heated debate halfway into the meeting when he took town chairperson Ester Senga to task demanding to know who had pulled down the portrait from the boardroom walls.

“Your worship, chairperson, I noticed the portrait of the President was removed from the wall and I need to know why it has happened,” Mafa queried, adding he suspected the picture had been removed by members of a Zanu PF faction opposed to Mugabe’s continued stay in office.

Gokwe Town Council has five Zanu PF councillors and one MDC-T councillor.

After failing to get a satisfactory answer over the missing picture, the councillors tried to push out Senga through a vote of no-confidence, accusing her of pulling down the portrait and subtly campaigning for Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe.

The motion was, however, blocked by other suspected Mnangagwa allies, who teamed up with MDC-T’s sole councillor, Jameson Mhlanga, leading to adjournment of the meeting.

Mnangagwa is believed to be a front runner in the race to succeed Mugabe, although of late First Lady Grace Mugabe has emerged as a dark horse eyeing the same post.