Mugabe’s nephew attacks Mujuru as Zanu PF infighting escalates

HARARE – Patrick Zhuwao, the Zvimba East MP and President Robert Mugabe’s nephew, has defied government, particularly Vice President Joice Mujuru’s orders not to occupy tourism ventures at Lake Chivero, about 30km west of Harare.\r\n

The businessman–cum–politician’s aggressive remarks Sunday that his followers would retake several leisure facilities, including Gary Stafford’s popular and lakeshore aviary, ruffled feathers within Zanu PF and in a remake of the late Joseph Msika’s futile war with party mobs over Kondozi Estate’s takeover about six years ago.

“Whilst the process and procedure may have needed to be improved, I still feel, together with the community, that there is gross social injustice that continues to be perpetrated by remnants of racists in most of the clubs,” Zhuwao told a local weekly.

“We will never allow any form of perceived white superiority in any part of this constituency.”

Among those targeted in the invasions were the Jacana Yacht Club, the country’s single largest sailing club and listed Rainbow Tourism Group–owned Harare Safari Lodge.

The recent invasions – planned as far back as October 2010 – have also exposed endemic factionalism in Mugabe’s home area, evidenced by conflicting views on the matter between Zhuwao and senior provincial members, including Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo.

On the other hand, the move almost torpedoed Tourism and Hospitality minister Walter Mzembi’s destination–marketing roadshows in Europe, thus prompting the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) to ask Mujuru to tackle the matter.

Karikoga Kaseke’s ZTA was particularly irked by the fact that bird sanctuaries are a major draw card and one of the most sought-after activities in Zimbabwe’s tourism.

However, Mujuru herself – now seen as a moderate and one of Mugabe’s possible successors – is not new to such recalcitrant and impenitent behaviour, following her clashes with another late VP Joshua Nkomo over Econet Wireless Zimbabwe’s operational licence.

While Chombo and other quasi–Zanu PF functionaries in government have criticised the illegal occupations by about 300 self–styled war veterans, party spokesman Rugare Gumbo declined to comment on Monday.

“I really can’t comment about Amai Mujuru’s statements because l only read about it in the papers. You call them invasions, but l don’t know anything about it… (as well as) Zhuwao’s statement,” he said.

While the advances on boat clubs, chalets and other tourism infrastructure in the cool, and wooded Chivero shoreline were carried out in the name of indigenisation, National Parks director Vitalis Chadenga said the wanton actions showed a lack of a coherent policy on Zimbabwe’s wildlife management.

According to available documents, the besieged properties would be parceled out to senior party officials, chiefs and other public servants, thus debunking Chombo’s damage control spin that the invasion was driven by “common criminals”.

In a January 6, 2010 letter exposing the well–orchestrated plan, Aaron Mazvi asked Lands and Resettlement minister Herbert Murerwa to facilitate the takeover of the assets, whose valuation is yet unknown.

The Mashonaland West drama comes after Higher Education minister Stan Mudenge and his Empowerment counterpart Saviour Kasukuwere threatened conservancy owners in Masvingo with expulsion, and to make way for a Chinese cotton grower, despite the poor climatic conditions and potential revenue losses. – Daily News