TWO Zanu PF legislators, Joseph Chinotimba (Buhera South) and his Buhera West counterpart Oliver Mandipaka, nearly traded blows before an extraordinary provincial co-ordination committee meeting in Mutare on Sunday as factional fights continue to haunt the ruling party.
Tempers flared when Mandipaka confronted Zanu PF central committee member Soul Nzuma, who is reportedly eyeing his seat, and labelled him a sellout.
Mandipaka, a suspected ally of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, accused Nzuma of conniving with under-fire Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene to wrest his parliamentary seat.
Chimene, who is reportedly holed up in Mozambique following the recent ouster of former President Robert Mugabe and his G40 acolytes, was leading the campaign for the purge of all suspected Mnangagwa allies.
“You used to take notes for Mandiitawepi Chimene, you were his spy, you wanted to kick me out of the party and see what has happened? I am not happy with what you have been doing,’’ Mandipaka said, a charge Nzuma described as false.
“What you are saying is not true and I don’t know how you got that information,’’ Nzuma said before Chinotimba intervened in the verbal showdown, but failed to restrain Mandipaka.
“Mandipaka, please, listen to me. If you don’t want to listen to me, then this issue will remain unresolved,’’ Chinotimba said as Mandipaka threatened to name and shame “sellouts in our midst”.
Mandipaka was among 39 senior party members who were recently shortlisted for expulsion for aligning themselves with the Mnangagwa camp.