By Itai Muzondo
Former Minister of State for Provincial Affairs for Masvingo Kudakwashe Bhasikiti,who was dismissed from his post early this year after being linked to the Mujuru faction which was accused of plotting to assassinate 91 year-old President Robert Mugabe is still held with great respect by some senior Zanu (PF) officials, who are against his expulsion from the party since he commands massive grassroots support in his Mwenezi East constituency.
Zanu (PF) chief whip Joram Gumbo publicly made the confession when he addressed the provincial party leadership at the Chiefs Hall in Masvingo at the weekend stating that Bhasikiti was one of the very few party officials who have massive grassroots support and therefore Zanu (PF) cannot afford to lose people like him.
Gumbo’s revelations came after fellow parliamentarians, did not only accuse Bhasikiti of supporting the former vice-president Joice Mujuru, but also allegedly interfering and abusing presidential inputs in his constituency. The ousted provincial minister once wept in favour of Mujuru’s rise during a heated politburo meeting.
“It is high time we stop labeling each other ‘Gamatox’ or ‘Weevils’; it’s now time to unite and focus on rebuilding the economy. We cannot afford to continue losing people like Bhasikiti whom we know very well that they have massive grassroots support in their constituencies.
“No one has the right to dismiss anyone from the party except for the politburo. You should find means to bring back those who left the party unless the politburo finds them guilty and expels them. The only people who were expelled from the party are Rugare Gumbo, Didymus Mutasa, Jabulani Sibanda and Temba Mliswa,” said Gumbo.
Masvingo provincial executive led by Zaka Central legislator Paradzai Chakona was alleged to be behind the plot to oust Bhasikiti from the party. Gumbo however, intervened and warned the province that expelling the legislator would be a big mistake.
Bhasikiti, recently accused of cutting down fruit trees willy nilly at his citrus farm, which he defended as a proper pruning process, also attended the same meeting. He responded from his sit but loud enough for everyone in the room to hear, and said he had no reason to sabotage presidential programmes. He warned the provincial leadership against unwarranted mudslinging.
“Why would I want to sabotage President Mugabe’s programmes? I have no reason to do that and my concentration at the moment is to meaningfully represent the people in my constituency. There are a number of projects I want to undertake in my constituency so I do not have time to waste plotting other people’s downfall. What I know is that the people of Mwenezi East have lots of confidence in me and I cannot afford to let them down,” said Bhasikiti.
Once described as belonging to the “wrong” basket Bhasikiti joined the former energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire, Dr Paul Chimedza the former health deputy minister and former public service deputy minister Tongai Muzenda who were also fired from their ministerial posts early this year. The quartet was linked to the Mujuru cabal which was accused of plotting against Mugabe.