The apparently divisive impending Zanu PF Kwekwe district coordinating committee (DCC) elections, coupled with a potentially explosive forthcoming by-election, have, without any shred of doubt, turned the small Midlands mining town into a war zone.

Literally speaking, Kwekwe- which is also home to Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa- has now become the hotbed of the fierce intra-party fights threatening to rip the long-ruling Zanu PF apart.

Only a couple of months ago, violence reared its ugly head during the aborted primary elections pitting fierce rivals-Energy ‘Dhala’ Ncube and Zanu PF’s parliamentary candidate in the 2018 elections, Kandros Mugabe.

Inexplicably suspecting that the elusive greenbacks could have somehow exchanged hands to fraudulently skew the electoral outcome in favour of Mugabe, aggrieved youths linked to the Dhala camp are said to have vented their anger by physically assaulting the presiding team led by Zanu PF provincial chairperson for the Midlands, Engineer Daniel Mackenzie Ncube.

Engineer Daniel Mackenzie Ncube

And, in the midst of the drama-filled aborted polls, puzzled onlookers and vendors proxy to the party offices cuddled the perfect Kodak moments by recording amateur video footages of the Zanu PF provincial leaders taking to their heels in broad daylight.

In actual fact, what ordinarily started off as a mere electoral contest aimed at coming up with the sole Zanu PF candidate to represent the party in the forthcoming Kwekwe Central by-elections, ended in tears with suspected instigators of the violence being docked on a day which saw several gunshots being fired by a joint deployment of riot police and the military at the party’s district headquarters.

The debacle left provincial deputy chairperson Colonel Kahuni injured while several cars were also vandalised at the ZANU PF district headquarters.

Formerly a stronghold of the main opposition MDC, the Kwekwe Central seat fell vacant following the death of poisoned National Patriotic Front (NPF) legislator, Masango ‘Blackman’ Matambanadzo in July this year.

the late Masango Matambanadzo

In separate interviews with Zwnews, both Dhala and Mugabe refused to shoulder responsibility over the chaos which culminated in the Temple Run typifying the abandoned primary elections.

For starters, the ambitious 26-year old Dhala is son to state security minister Owen ‘Mudha’ Ncube’s sister.

The Mudha-Mugabe feud

It is not a secret that Minister Ncube and the Kwekwe Central shadow minister, who is also a miner and Arch-bishop of the Zvipo ZveMweya Apostolic Church, do not see eye to eye.

The acrimony between the two Zanu PF politicians is well-documented and spans from the epoch of the late Zimbabwe strongman, Robert Mugabe.

Well-placed Zanu PF sources allege that the state security minister is now using his nephew Dhala to derail the political aspirations of his longtime nemesis who lost to the late Matambanadzo in the previous elections.

“In actual fact, Dhala has, all along, been eyeing the Shurugwi North parliamentary seat but he surprisingly made a dramatic u-turn when Blackman passed away this year and threw his hat into the Kwekwe Central ring,” said one Zanu PF provincial official who spoke to Zwnews on condition of anonimity.

“So, it is generally understood that Touchbomber (as Minister Mudha is otherwise known), decided to use his nephew in the pursuit of fighting Kandros (Mugabe),” the source said.

Minister Owen Ncube

Team Igwe versus Team Bishop

Former Mbizo MP Vongaishe Mupereri is understood to be fronting a section that continues to fight against Mugabe’s political ambitions.

Known as Igwe in Zanu PF circles, Mupereri is seen as currying favour with the state security minister by drumming up support for Dhala while concurrently backing the incumbent provincial secretary for education, Tapiwa Muto who is battling it out with Mugabe for the position of party treasurer in the imminent Kwekwe DCC elections.

Vongaishe Mupereri

The Team Igwe camp also has the backing of Local Government minister, July Moyo who is believed to be Mupereri’s uncle.

However, the Team Bishop camp, which is loyal to Mugabe, is generally believed to be banking its support from the provincial leadership and the Commissariat.

Zanu PF national political commissar Victor Matemadanda is understood to be sympathetic to Mugabe.

First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa’s name has, on several occasions, been thrown into the internal squabbles rocking Kwekwe district.

First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa

Sources privy to the intraparty fights rocking Zanu PF in Kwekwe allege that President Mnangagwa’s wife is sympathetic to the Team Bishop camp.

“That places His Excellency (Mnangagwa) in a very difficult position,” said another Zanu PF source.

“It is not clear if the president is taking sides in these fights but even if the influence of his blue-eyed boys (Ministers Ncube and Moyo) cannot be doubted, it is difficult to disregard the First Lady’s influence on her husband,” the source quipped.

Dirty politics, spycraft and name-calling before the storm

As the seemingly ceaseless internal rifts continue unabated in Kwekwe district, one Zanu PF Kwekwe district official accused the pro-Dhala loyalists of applying dirty politics to discredit Mugabe.

Mugabe (with scarf) escorted by aides

The Team Igwe camp has also been accused of using its proximity to those in leadership to taint the image of the Zvipo ZveMweya church leader.

Speaking on condition of anonimity for fear of possible reprisal, the ruling party official spoke at length about the recent incident when three Zanu PF members allegedly blocked Mnangagwa’s motorcade.

The trio of Tadzoka Nago, Stanley Zibako and Honest Diura- all loyal to Mugabe- hogged the media limelight after they were said to have blocked the presidential motorcade.

Yet, the Team Bishop camp dismisses the incident as part of the spycraft blamable on the Team Igwe camp.

“Those close to the state security Minister were quick to accuse the three of obstructing the Presidential Motorcade. They are just employing dirty tactics inorder to see others out of the race. Infact the Team Igwe camp found the arrest of Nago, Diura and Zibako as an opportunity to soil their names to such an extent that even the Party would be forced to suspend them over such frivolous reports,” said a Zanu PF district official who spoke to Zwnews in Kwekwe this week.

Tadzoka Nago

You may ask vendors and money changers who ply their trade around OK Supermarket to better understand what actually took place on the day in question,” he said.

Added the ruling party official:

“That was merely a misunderstanding between a police officer and the trio which was then cooked up to paint a very bad image of Mugabe to President Mnangagwa. In actual fact, the police officer kept signalling something to Nago (the driver) who was about to drive away from the Parking lot at OK Supermarket in the CBD”.

“Nago could not see the officer nor the signals. A passerby who had seen the officer’s signals told Nago to stop the Honda CR-V he was driving. Upon stopping, the Police officer just removed the car keys, leading to a misunderstanding between the cop and the trio. And that was way before the presidential motorcade arrived in Kwekwe from Gweru”.

The trio, who are set to appear in court on December 9, are out on $2 000 bail each.

They are on record denying that they ever attempted to block Mnangagwa’s motorcade that was coming from a function graced by the septuagenarian at the Midlands State University (MSU) in Gweru.

Although the incident has been misconstrued by various online publications as an expression of dissent by aggrieved youths in the disintegrating long-ruling Zanu PF, the trio are on record dismissing the allegations of obstructing the presidential motorcade, as trumped up to suit the wishes of the Team Igwe camp.


They said their arrest had nothing to do with what is being peddled ‘by those whose political survival is premised on soiling the names of other comrades to get rid of political contestation’.

“He (the police officer) just approached us and without a word, removed the keys from the ignition while the engine was still idling. We were all shocked to see the officer walking away with the car keys,” Nago said.

He reportedly followed the police officer and when he enquired on what was wrong, the officer is accused of having said that: “You will get back your keys at Kwekwe Central Police Station”.

The trio of Nago, Diura and Zibako was then arrested after the former is said to have forcibly taken the keys from the officer.

And, if their claims are anywhere close to the truth, one can certainly be forgiven for opining that politics has indeed become a brutal arena for those eyeing positions of power in the impending Zanu PF Kwekwe DCC elections.