By Staff Reporter
HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa fired Zanu PF’s political commissar Victor Matemadanda after he was accused of fanning divisions, reports said.
Mnangagwa dropped Matemadanda from Zanu PF’s powerful Politburo last Wednesday amid growing divisions in the party over the recent District Coordinating Committee (DCC) elections.
George Charamba, the spokesman for the presidency, also confirmed that Matemadanda had lost his role as deputy defence minister and would be appointed to a foreign mission as ambassador.
Charamba said Matemadanda’s reassignment was a “higher responsibility,” downplaying his unexpected removal.
The abrasive Gokwe Central MP will also likely lose his parliamentary seat and his position as secretary general of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association.
In his final act, Matamadanda wrote a circular to all Zanu PF DCCs elected recently warning them against divisive acts including “de-campaigning party sitting councillors and MPs.”
The circular was also signed by Zanu PF’s national chair Oppah Muchinguri, secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, secretary for security Lovemore Matuke, Women’s League boss Mable Chinomona, party spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo and youth secretary Tendai Chirau.
Citing sources, The Standard newspaper reported on Sunday that Matemadanda had also clashed with some powerful Zanu PF figures including Mpofu, local government minister July Moyo, state security minister Owen Ncube, Zanu PF secretary for finance Patrick Chinamasa, administration director Dickson Dzora and Zanu PF school of ideology director Munyaradzi Machacha.
“Matemadanda was working with some senior party members from the Midlands province,” one party official told the newspaper.
“These include Larry Mavima (Midlands provincial affairs minister), Daniel Mackenzie (Zanu PF provincial chairman for Midlands) and Zanu PF youth chairman for Midlands Edmore Samambwa, among others.
“They called themselves Gokwe Boys and their mission was to destroy July Moyo and Mudha (Owen Ncube) so that they become close to Mnangagwa.
They considered themselves as ‘Super Lacoste’, more important than others. They were cooking up stories to create a divide between the two and Mnangagwa.”
Matemadanda’s exit means Zanu PF will have a third political commissar inside three years. Matemadanda replaced Engelbert Rugeje in 2019 after close-run elections a year previously.