Wednesday, 24 October 2018

ED BACKING NCUBE TO THE HILT

President Emmerson Mnangagwa will tomorrow chair two crucial Zanu PF meetings in Harare as he battles to deal with the twin challenges of Zimbabwe’s worsening economic crisis, as well as mounting discord within the upper echelons of the ruling party.

Well-placed party sources told the Daily News last night that Mnangagwa was under “immense pressure” to act decisively to end the country’s economic bleeding and to get onside some of his senior Zanu PF lieutenants who have been rattled by his tough stance on corruption and Finance minister Muthuli Ncube’s recent policy measures.

Tomorrow’s politburo and central committee meetings also come as Ncube has come under heavy attack from many party bigwigs, over his recent controversial engagement of William Gerald Mutumanje — also known as Acie Lumumba — and whose revelations on alleged illegal foreign currency dealings this week have shaken the country to its core.

At the same time, a defiant Mutumanje whose contract was officially terminated by Ncube, promised that he would “spill more beans” on allegedly corrupt government officials whom he claims are on the payroll of a powerful tycoon said to be working hard to capture Mnangagwa — in the manner that the Gupta brothers in South Africa allegedly captured the State there and former president Jacob Zuma.

The Zanu PF sources who spoke to the Daily News said Mnangagwa was now backing Ncube “to the hilt” despite his earlier “hesitancy” regarding the Finance minister’s recently announced economic stabilisation measures.


In that regard, Mnangagwa would use tomorrow’s politburo and central committee meetings to emphasise this support, as well as his determination to fight corruption and to deal “decisively” with officials alleged to be participating in illegal foreign currency trading.

“ED is now completely in charge and he doesn’t countenance any form of insubordination from whomever — be it in government or in Zanu PF. It’s either his way or the highway.

“He is fully backing Mthuli and everything that he (the Finance minister) has done thus far. ED would rather err on the side of taking immediate and decisive action on the economy, rather than pander to the whims of the comrades who are not in support of Mthuli’s austerity measures.

“He will thus want the politburo and central committee meetings to endorse Mthuli’s economic revival plans and his fight against the parallel foreign currency market.
He will also warn those trying to create another centre of power,” one of the insiders said.

This comes as Mnangagwa has been working hard to try and steer the country’ sickly economy back on track, after years of executive mismanagement.

He also announced last weekend that he would use temporary emergency powers to arrest and prosecute businesspeople and Zanu PF officials accused of fuelling the foreign currency black market.

On his part, and as he fights to turn around the economy, Ncube last Friday announced the appointment of Mutumanje to chair a communications taskforce, which he said would help to propagate his work.

Mutumanje immediately threw the cat among the pigeons when he named senior government officials and a local tycoon who stand accused of being at the centre of corruption and illegal forex deals.

This has since led to the precautionary suspension of four directors at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), pending investigation of the accusations.

But hardly 24 hours after Mutumanje’s sensational claims, the government made an unconvincing U-turn — distancing itself from his appointment.
However, Ncube last night eventually clarified the position by officially announcing that he had terminated Mutumanje’s contract.

This is despite that Mutumanje’s letter of appointment stated that if he was to be fired, the government would need to give him 30 days’ notice.

Yesterday, Mutumanje told the Daily News that he was ready to release more damning information on corruption allegedly involving other senior government officials.

“Zimbabwe is under State capture which needs disinfection from monopoly and if you get rid of State capture you liberalise the economy.

“The economic capture is from RBZ and RBZ is a bank of cartels. The mainstream banks feed the RBZ and the RBZ cartels feed the black market.

“I will not stop exposing these cartels because there is much more information which I shall be sharing,” the self-confident Mutumanje thundered.

Apart from the Zanu PF old guard, the party’s youth league has also voiced its concerns over Ncube’s modus operandi which it claims is harming both the government and the party.
Deputy youth league secretary Lewis Matutu even suggested that Ncube was not familiar with how Zanu PF works and that he also needs to show maturity.

“Finance minister Ncube through his ‘spokesman’ Lumumba has decided to directly criticise government programmes, particularly Command Agriculture under the guise of exposing corruption in RBZ, this is unacceptable.

“We call upon the minister to be sober and responsible in difficult economic circumstances like these, to be mature and to remain focused on the revival of the economy,” he said on twitter.

Zanu PF secretary for Information Simon Khaya Moyo confirmed tomorrow’s meetings but did not divulge the agenda of the meetings.

However, sources said the old party guard — which includes former ministers who were shunted to its headquarters after Mnangagwa appointed a new Cabinet — were likely to come under discussion after war veterans recently agitated for their removal.

Mnangagwa re-assigned the bigwigs to the party’s headquarters in a bid to breathe new life in government and to strengthen the former liberation movement’s administration.

The idea was apparently to emulate the Chinese Community Party’s model, which has also been adopted by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa.
War veterans chairpersons drawn from the country’s 10 provinces recently petitioned Mnangagwa, demanding the removal of Zanu PF’s secretary for administration Obert Mpofu and fellow former ministers David Parirenyatwa, Patrick Chinamasa and Sydney Sekeramayi — who are all politburo members. Daily News

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