BARELY a month after he was assaulted during Independence Day celebrations in Nyanyadzi, former Energy deputy minister Munacho Mutezo was last Friday chased away from Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko’s familiarisation tour in Chimanimani.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Mutezo, who is Chimanimani West MP, allegedly went to former Roy Bennett’s Charles Wood Farm where the VP was touring a DTZ-OZGEO diamond mine.
But during a briefing session, Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene told Mutezo in his face that he was not welcome to the function because he was suspended from Zanu PF.
According to sources who attended the meeting, Chimene told Mutezo that he should not violate the terms of his suspension by forcing himself at meetings he had not been invited to.
Despite pleading with party supporters in Mutare recently to accept and forgive Mutezo, Mphoko reportedly said nothing when the former deputy minister was given his marching orders.
“We were at a briefing at the DTZ-OZGEO mine with the VP when minister Chimene asked Mutezo to leave,” one of Zanu PF officials said.
“She said Mutezo was suspended and he should not violate his suspension terms. He was asked why he was coming to the party programme as that would give a picture that the province was defying a politburo directive,” the source, who preferred anonymity, said.
“He was chased away like a small child and he complied,” the source said.
Mutezo reportedly left in a huff and Zanu PF youths allegedly started singing songs denigrating the legislator, calling for his sacking from Parliament.
According to sources, party youths want him replaced by Letina Undenge, the wife of Energy minister Samuel Undenge, who is also Zanu PF acting chairman for Manicaland.
However, in an interview with The Standard yesterday, Letina said people should not abuse her name by suggesting that she was calling for the ouster of Mutezo.
She said she would only decide to stand as a candidate once a vacancy was declared.
“There is no vacancy at the present moment in Chimanimani. I will only decide when there is an opportunity and right now, there is no vacancy. I am not power hungry,” Letina said.
She said as a national leader, she was doing developmental projects to help women and youths in Chimanimani, but said that should not be misconstrued as wanting to unseat anyone.
Undenge was not reachable for comment, while Chimene was said to be in a series of meetings.
Mutezo refused to comment.
On Independence Day, Mutezo was publicly humiliated and assaulted by Zanu PF activists in Nyanyadzi for allegedly aligning with axed former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
He was among several ministers and deputies fired from government soon after the Zanu PF congress before he was suspended from the party last week.
Zanu PF recently suspended about 90 officials for periods ranging from two to five years.
However, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo said the suspensions only applied to their positions in the party, but did not affect their membership.