DEPUTY Minister of Science and Technology Patrick Zhuwao has been accused of plotting to unseat his uncle President Robert Mugabe after falling out of favour with him over political developments in Mashonaland West.
But Zhuwao yesterday denied that he was fighting his uncle.
Sources told the Zimbabwe Independent that Zhuwao was on Tuesday accused of working to oust Mugabe from power during a heated Zanu PF provincial coordinating committee meeting held at Orange Grove Motel in Chinhoyi after he called for the election of youths into the party’s provincial executive.
Zhuwao’s plea, the sources said, angered Zanu’s provincial women’s league treasurer identified as Amai Mubi who interrupted the Zvimba East legislator and fired a barrage of accusations at him.
“Mubi said it was now common knowledge at the Mugabe family level that Zhuwao was plotting to oust the president,” according to one of the sources who attended the meeting.
“Zhuwao was stunned and stopped addressing the meeting.”
The source said Zhuwao and his brother, former Makonde MP Leo Mugabe, have fallen out of favour with the pro-Mugabe villagers in the Zvimba communal lands who alleged that the siblings were working against the 84-year-old veteran leader.
President Mugabe hails from Zvimba.
Leo and Zhuwao are the sons of Sabina, Mugabe’s sister.
The sources said Zhuwao was heard before the coordinating committee meeting grumbling about Mugabe’s decision to allocate the Science and Technology ministry to the Morgan Tsvangirai MDC under the power-sharing agreement signed on September 15.
The sources said Zhuwao initially eyed the Zanu PF Mashonaland West chairmanship, but after the scene with Mubi, the legislator did not forward his name for the post.
Zhuwao backed John Mafa who went on to win the chairmanship on Wednesday against former Zimbabwe ambassador to China, Chris Mutsvangwa, in an election reportedly marred by vote buying.
The deputy minister yesterday declined to comment on what happened during the coordinating committee meeting, but denied there was bad blood between him and Mugabe.
“A supposition on my part that President Mugabe should leave office Zviroto zvezviroto (it’s a dream of dreams),” Zhuwao said.
He said as a national youth leader he was pressing for the implementation of a Zanu PF constitutional requirement that youths above 30 years should graduate into the main wing of the party.
“The process of graduating our members above 30 years into the main wing is poised to see the old guards losing positions they have been holding,” Zhuwao said.
Sources said grain, fertilser and seed were used as inducements in the Mashonaland West elections while 10 000 litres of fuel allocated to Zanu PF province for party business was allegedly abused during the campaign.
“All the people who were elected into the provincial executive lack the academic stamina and relevant experience to run the party,” a senior Zanu PF official said. “Their advantage was that they had a grip on the electorate because of the inducements they offered. Unlike other provinces that elected capable people, Mashonaland West will be run by villagers.”Â Â
By Constantine Chimakure