WAR veterans yesterday have demanded the immediate ouster of Provincial Affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti who has been accused of aligning himself with axed Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
Bhasikiti’s job was already hanging by a thread, but the latest call by the former freedom fighters could signal the final death knell to his political career.
The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) Masvingo Chapter resolved to have him relieved of his duties describing him as “a stumbling block to the province’s development”.
The resolution to have him fired was made by ZNLWVA secretary general Victor Matemadanda at a meeting held at Masvingo Polytechnic College, which the organisation’s national chair Chris Mutsvangwa attended.
“Masvingo passed a resolution that they no longer want Bhasikiti and said go and tell President (Robert) Mugabe that, as long as he is still the Provincial Affairs minister, Masvingo province will continue having problems,” he said.
Matemadanda said the war veterans accused Bhasikiti of insulting Mugabe after congress, describing him as “old and senile”, but the Provincial Affairs minister strongly refutes the allegation and has since sued a fellow party member who alleged that he had uttered the words at a party meeting.
“The war vets here said they no longer want Bhasikiti after he insulted the president with unprintable words which I will say when the right time comes,” he said.
“So they are saying if the president is senile and appointed Bhasikiti, then he made a mistake and forgot to appoint the real person for the job and instead appointed Bhasikiti,” he said.
This is not the first time that the war veterans’ association, a powerful arm of Zanu PF, has had a go at Bhasikiti. In November last year, Zanu PF members demonstrated in the city centre against Bhasikiti and former Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire, who was later shown the door.
Bhasikiti, however, had appeared to have survived the purge on perceived Mujuru sympathisers, which claimed the scalps of senior party members, among them former Presidential Affairs minister and ex-Zanu PF national secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa.
Mujuru, wife of the late army general Solomon Mujuru, was accused of trying to assassinate Mugabe and dabbling in witchcraft, allegations she strongly denied.