By A Correspondent- Zanu-PF national political commissar, Mike Bimha, has been caught up in the deadly factional firestorm raging in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Midlands backyard amid reports he received a US$4 000 cash inducement from one of the rival camps to alter results of provincial elections held last December.
The bribery claim was immediately dismissed as “rubbish and nonsense” by Midlands provincial chairman Larry Mavhima who said Bimha would was a “reputable guy of means”.
“That is hogwash and bull sh*t. That is very ridiculous and weak,” Mavhima told NewZimbabwe.com
“I cannot even find a word to describe such kind of rubbish and nonsense. The NPC (national political commissar) is a reputable guy of means. We don’t need to buy anybody at all, except to get the truth and truth will set us free, the truth will make voters happy,” Mavima told NewZimbabwe.com in an interview.
However, Multiple sources from the province said Bimha was given the money during a meeting between him and a delegation led by Mavhima.
The meeting reportedly took place at the Zanu-PF national headquarters in Harare on January 27. Among the delegates were former cabinet minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and Shurugwi North legislator Robsoin Nyathi.
It is said Mavhima and company want Bimha to expunge election results for Shurugwi districts because of anomalies that characterised the provincial polls on in December.
Rivals accuse Bimha of siding with a camp reportedly fronted by provincial heavyweight Joram Gumbo. Gumbo is allegedly diametrically opposed to rival group led by Local Government minister July Moyo.
The two are engaged in a bitter wrangle over who should be considered the provincial godfather and camps have ensembled around them.
Sources said Mavima on January 27 travelled to the Zanu-PF headquarters in Harare, where he met with Bimha and handed over the cash.
Mavima, who doubles up as Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, is reportedly working with former politburo member Mumbengegwi, former provincial chairman Daniel Mackenzie Ncube and Nyathi to alter the set-up of the newly installed provincial coordinating committee (PCC) which sources claim is dominated by July Moyo’s loyalists.
They are reportedly particularly targeting Shurugwi district.
Although efforts to get comment from Bimha were fruitless, Mavima confirmed getting wind of the alleged plot, before shooting down the bribery claims.
He confirmed they met with Bimha and that they are seeking to overturn election results but said this was being done in order to rectify a misnorma.
“Why would we buy people to fake figures? Maybe those that played dirty games are ones trying to soil our names. I have my own ways and means to survive, l work and have businesses, so does the NPC. What is US$4 000? Well, they say it’s a deposit, l saw that. But that is rubbish, absolute rubbish and it doesn’t deserve comment from me, neither does it deserve comment from NPC,” he said.
Disgruntled losing Zanu-PF candidates, Mavima said, must not “take losses to such levels of being mischievous”.
He said those that rigged their way to leadership positions will be kicked out of the party at his instigation.
“We as a party will do the right thing, if somebody cheated we will follow rules, proper ways and they will be chucked out, period! We don’t need to pay anybody money to set the record straight, or getting things done properly, no. It’s very upsetting, but that is politics and that’s how things are to smear people’s names, smear my name, the NPC’s name,” he said.
Contacted for comment, Nyathi also absolved himself from any bribery attempt.
“I wish that law (Data Protection Act) is applied to deter those bent on peddling malicious claims, without authenticity, about other individuals. Surely, the level of evil among man has reached Sodom and Gomorrah proportions. This is a smear campaign, l am a responsible person and l cannot tarnish my name because of money,” Nyathi told NewZimbabwe.com.
Efforts to get comment from Mumbengegwi were unsuccessful by the time of publishing.
But sources from the rival camp insisted money exchanged hands.
“The process started with attempts to distort provincial election results. This process involved trying to rope in Ms Gwazemba-Ushewokunze who was responsible for elections supervision in the Midlands. Ms Gwazemba has since been promoted to work in Bimha’s office at the HQ in order to allow easy consolidation of the plan to force her to doctor the results, a plan she may not know how sustainable it is,” a source close to proceedings said.
“On Thursday (January 27), the money was carried to Bimha by Mavima as part of the scheme that involves former Provincial Chairperson Daniel Mckenzie Ncube. Ncube is a politically wounded soul in the province and feels must be appointed to a ministerial position soon, hence they want Lary Mavima to reward him by appointing Nyathi’s loyalists and to prepare his rise to a ministerial position,” the source said.
“The challenge that is stunning most Zanu-PF supporters in the province is the disruptive nature of their politics and a clearly choreographed act that saw bussing of people to a meeting last weekend, to cause havoc at an inter-district meeting in Shurugwi. The disruptions are used by Bimha as justification for reconfiguring the election results so that a report is made to the province as the president’s directive.”
The Midlands province has lately been hit by deep-seated factional fights that led to the recent removal of Owen “Mudha” Ncube from his position as state security minister after he defied Mnangagwa’s directive to stop involving himself in the province’s affairs.
Ncube was accused of fanning violence at Zanu-PF meetings, commandeering and intimidating senior party officials, among other charges