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Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi faces axe

Defence minister and Zanu PF stalwart Sydney Sekeramayi is skirting on thin ice after President Robert Mugabe on Saturday said there is need to re-consider central committee members from Mashonaland East after an outcry by people from the province that the current elected members belong to ousted chairperson Ray Kaukonde.

After the President’s announcement for fresh elections at the congress, some delegates from Mashonaland East could be heard describing Sekeramayi and Mudarikwa as “bad apples” in the basket.

Sekeramayi, who was the most senior Politburo member in the province, stands accused of failing to rein in Kaukonde when he went about sponsoring factional activities and sexually abusing female party members in the province.

Sources close to developments said Sekeramayi’s culpability was heightened by the fact that he was the secretary for security in the Politburo and his brief bid him to ensure the security of the First Secretary and President of the party but he apparently did nothing let alone alert the Politburo about the sinister plots, yet all the machinations were happening right under his nose, leading many to conclude he was party to the Mujuru cabal. 

Sekeramayi, undoubtedly the godfather of Zanu PF in the province that is also home to First Lady Grace Mugabe, would be facing the heat together with party cadres in the names of Health minister David Parirenyatwa, Industry and Commerce minister Mike Bimha and Local Government deputy minister Joel Biggie Matiza, who are reportedly linked to the Mujuru faction.

Cde Sekeramayi could not be reached for comment yesterday.

On December 2, Sekeramayi’s wife, Tsitsi, was heckled and harassed by Zanu PF youths at the party’s headquarters in Harare, accusing her husband of plotting to oust President Mugabe from power, together with Mujuru and Kaukonde.

The harassment occurred as Tsitsi wanted to get accredited for the congress with the youths shouting “Waifunga uchaita First Lady (You thought you would become First Lady)”.

Sekeramayi is one of President Mugabe’s lieutenants, who has served in a number of high profile ministerial posts in the government since independence in 1980.

All along Sekeramayi has been tagged a dark horse in the battle to succeed President Mugabe.

During a demonstration against Kaukonde at the party’s provincial party offices recently, Sekeramayi was heckled by war veterans for saving and protecting Kaukonde.

The war veterans wanted the businessman-cum-politician to vacate party offices, only to be stopped by Sekeramayi who told the freedom fighters that the party would follow necessary procedures in dismissing Kaukonde.

President Mugabe told congress that Kaukonde had fled the country to neighbouring South Africa.

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