ACTING Zanu PF provincial chairperson for Midlands, Kizito Chivamba, has reportedly offered to appease Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko with a live beast after mutilating his name during a rally in Mberengwa last week.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Chivamba reportedly failed to correctly pronounce Mphoko’s surname and instead, called it out as “Mboko”, a Shona derogatory term for “fool or embicile”.
This did not go down well with the VP, who immediately chastised the former Central Intelligence Operative.
Insiders claimed Chivamba, who on the day seemed to have apologised to Mphoko, had now approached the VP with an appeasement plan.
“He has offered the VP a beast to pacify him (Mphoko). He is afraid that the VP, by virtue of his position as acting party national chairperson and head of the Zanu PF national disciplinary committee, might actually carry through his threat to depose him,” NewsDay heard.
But Chivamba immediately rejected the claims, instead going on to claim Mphoko also mutilated his name.
“I am not a fluent IsiNdebele speaker. I was born in Zaka and a Karanga, so it was a genuine mistake by someone not conversant with that language. I do not even know what it (Mphoko) means. The VP also failed to pronounce my name properly and called me Chivhamba, but I never took issue with him,” he said.
“We talked about it on the same day and he is a very good man and leader. He understood. I said it with all honesty and without any malice.”
He added: “People claimed he left in a huff because he was angry after the incident. It is nonsense, but as (Presidential spokesperson) George Charamba explained, it was a security issue because he was driving.”
Mphoko was not immediately available for comment.
Chivamba said Mphoko’s name was not the only one being “mis-pronounced”.
“It happens all over the place and is really nothing to make noise about. The people who are trying to make an issue out of it are foolish (and) divisive individuals who have realised that Midlands is united, but now want to throw spanners in the works just to create some semblance of chaos,” he said.
At the Mberengwa rally, addressed by First Lady and Zanu PF Women’s League boss Grace Mugabe, an angry Mphoko said Chivamba did not “deserve to be Zanu PF provincial chairman”.
“Kizito Chivamba does not deserve to be chairman of Midlands province for calling me Mboko. I am not Mboko . . . this is a dehumanising term and Shona people know it. I am Mphoko!”
Chivamba was then forced by Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, to make the correct pronunciation.
“Kwaitwa correction kuno (I have been corrected), It’s Mphoko not Mboko,” Chivamba said.
The VP then told party supporters to shun tribalism, adding tribalists had no place in modern Zimbabwe.