FORMER Finance minister Simba Makoni has been dumped by his main backer in the Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn project, Dumiso Dabengwa, amid claims of a clash between the two leaders over access to financial resources as well as vehicles for mobilisation of support.
Dabengwa told the Zimbabwe Independent from Bulawayo on Wednesday that he was no longer part of Makoni’s movement.
“I am no longer part of the Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn movement,” Dabengwa said. “All I did was to assist them set up and drive the campaign for the presidential campaign. I assisted in the campaign and did achieve my main goal of ensuring that the process is conducive for the holding of free and fair elections in the country.”
He said he was now pursuing “other plans” in the political landscape, including the revival of PF Zapu.
“There are other options that I am looking at and I will make my position clear on these things when the time comes. Some people say I should revive PF Zapu.”
The former PF Zapu intelligence supremo said that it was in his interest to revive the party.
“Zapu is the one that brought me to where I am today and I will not dump it. (Vice-President Joseph) Msika said recently that PF Zapu was not swallowed by Zanu PF and we will prove that it is still alive if the people approach us to revive it,” Dabengwa said.
There have been disclosures of a fierce row between Dabengwa and Makoni over resource allocation.
Sources told the Independent that the fight could have led Dabengwa to opt out of the movement as he felt belittled.
“Dabengwa feels he is a senior politician,” one of the sources said. “This business of being made to appear as a political mafikizolo to him is an insult because he sacrificed his political career for Makoni, yet the same person he assisted to set up his movement structure is now treating him badly.”
It is said that Dabengwa raised the issue of resources to Makoni, but the former Sadc executive secretary repeatedly referred him to “officers at the national office” who were expected to handle his concerns.
“Dabengwa felt that there were resources that were supposed to have been allocated to Matabeleland and Bulawayo provinces for support mobilisation and also for the establishment of party structures in preparation for the main launch.
“Those resources and vehicles were not made available to him on the basis of the fact that he had to wait for the launch to get them,” the source said.
It is alleged that there were vehicles that were procured for the general election campaign and were supposed to be allocated to provinces for the movement’s activities, but they were never distributed.
They were parked “at a secret location in Harare”.
“These are the cars that Dabengwa had requested and Makoni appeared not prepared to release them. Funds have not been trickling in as expected and that is what Dabengwa has been challenging,” said the sources.
Contacted for comment, Makoni refused to discuss the matter saying he was not at liberty to do so.
He referred the Independent to his spokesperson Godfrey Chanetsa who claimed that there were no differences within the movement.
“All I know is that the Mavambo family is still intact and there is nothing of that sort. We are working towards the launch of the party and nothing more,” said Chanetsa.
The latest turn of events threatens to scuttle plans to transform the movement into a new party, which has been christened the National Alliance for Democracy (NAD).
The expectation is that NAD would contest future elections.
By Nkululeko Sibanda