Mudzuri and Obert Mpofu clash over Ministries
HARARE – Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu last week reportedly tried to block his Energy and Power Development counterpart, Elias Mudzuri, from touring Hwange Colliery Company
The clash is the latest in the power struggles between ZANU PF and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) ministers, following the setting up of a unity government, and has been worsened by ministers’ overlapping roles.
Mpofu who was moved from the Ministry of Industry and International Trade by President Robert Mugabe last month,claimed that Mudzuri should have informed him about the visit so that they could tour together, as the company falls under his ministry.
HCC officials said an angry Mudzuri who was in the mining town on Friday to assess operations at the Zimbabwe Power Company thermal station, instead ignored Mpofu’s protests.
“The Minister told the managing director Fred Moyo, that Mudzuri can not tour the mine without his permission and wanted the visit cancelled,” said an official.
“When he was informed about that, Mudzuri said he would go ahead with the tour because he was at the same level as Mpofu and did need his permission to visit a government establishment.”
Earlier, Mudzuri had flexed his muscles to ensure that ZPPC employees who had not received their salaries because the company’s foreign currency was being withheld by the Reserve Bank, were immediately given their dues.
“The Minister wanted to talk to the President when he heard about the problem, but he was told Mugabe was busy and was referred to Misheck Sibanda, chief secretary,” said another source.
“Within a few hours, the workers were told to collect their payments from banks.”
There are fears some forces from the previous administration are working behind the scenes to frustrate the unity government whose success they fear, could cost ZANU PF in future elections.