Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
President Mugabe has fired Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Cde Kudakwashe Bhasikiti from Government for conduct inconsistent with his prescribed duties and functions.
This brings to 17 the number of ministers and deputy ministers who have been dismissed since December last year along with former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru on allegations of reneging on their Government duties.
The ministers were accused of expending their time and energy on alleged graft and putschist politics through which they sought to topple President Mugabe using unconstitutional means, including possible assassination.
Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda announced the firing of Cde Bhasikiti in a statement yesterday, saying he was relieved of his duties in terms of Section 108 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
âIn terms of Section 108 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, His Excellency the President has terminated the employment of Honourable Kudakwashe Bhasikiti-Chuma as Minister of State for Masvingo Province, as his conduct had become inconsistent with his prescribed duties and functions,â he said.
âThe termination is with immediate effect.â
Section 108 (1) (a) of the Constitution, which deals with the tenure of office of Ministers and Deputy Ministers, stipulates that; âthe office of a Minister or Deputy Minister becomes vacant if the President removes him or her from office.ââ
At a Politburo meeting last year, President Mugabe told Cde Bhasikiti that he was âin the wrong basketâ, in apparent reference to his links to the Mujuru cabal.
President Mugabe said: âWhy are you in the wrong basket, Mr Bhasikiti?â
A tense Cde Bhasikiti told him that he had worked on a thesis whose content proves his commitment to Zanu-PF.
âI am consistent, President,â he said.
President Mugabe, however, brushed him off.
âYou should get out of the wrong basket. I hear that you are not consistent. Get into the right basket,â President Mugabe said.
In December last year, the Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial executive recommended the withdrawal of Cde Bhasikiti from the Politburo over his role in a plot to topple President Mugabe.
Cde Bhasikiti was also implicated in the promotion of factionalism in Masvingo and protecting Western-linked companies suspected of being involved in attempts to effect illegal regime change in Zimbabwe.
He was narrowly elected into the Central Committee last year when he beat Cde Cuthbert Muzara by 73 votes to 69 in the fight for one of Mwenezi Districtâs three slots.
But the Masvingo provincial executive has since recommended that Cde Muzara takes over Cde Bhasikitiâs place.
Zanu-PF supporters in Masvingo recently staged a demonstration against Cde Bhasikiti, accusing him of fanning factionalism, among a litany of other charges.
The Masvingo provincial committee has also asked the Politburo to investigate allegations that Cde Bhasikiti denigrated President Mugabe while addressing party supporters from Mwenezi who were coming from attending the 6th National Peopleâs Congress in December.
On Tuesday this week, scores of placard-waving Zanu-PF youths prevented Cde Bhasikiti from addressing civil servants and traditional leaders in Gutu and Bikita districts, saying he must leave office.