HARARE – Mashonaland East Zanu-PF provincial chairperson Ray Kaukonde was yesterday booted out through a vote of no confidence passed on him and some members of his executive, becoming the eighth provincial chair to face the same fate. Phineas Chihota has been appointed acting chairperson.
The other Zanu-PF provincial chairpersons deposed in recent weeks were Temba Mliswa (Mashonaland West), Callisto Gwanetsa (Masvingo), Jason Machaya (Midlands), Amos Midzi (Harare), Andrew Langa (Matabeleland South), Professor Callistus Ndlovu (Bulawayo) and John Mvundura (Manicaland).
Chihota yesterday said 27 members of the provincial executive out of 50 voted for the ouster of Kaukonde and seven other members of his executive. “Members of the executive passed the vote of no confidence on Kaukonde because they doubted his sincerity in terms of driving programmes while he was also working against the party by fanning factionalism,” he said.
“He was also taking advantage of other people including women in implementation of programmes as well as practicing individualism.” The members of the Mash East executive also booted out were political commissar Tendai Makunde and his deputy George Katsande, deputy secretary for security Washington Musvaire, deputy secretary for finance Felix Mhona, secretary for education Taurai Pasirai, secretary for administration Peter Murwira and Boniface Mutize.
Last week, war veterans, youths and women attempted to pass a vote of no confidence against Kaukonde after a demonstration in Marondera, but their move was of no effect as it was not constitutional.
The move only had the effect of leaving Kaukonde on the brink as the war veterans led a push to kick him out, but he could only be ousted by a quorate Provincial Executive Council which duly did so yesterday. Kaukonde was identified by First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe as the financial kingpin of a plot led by Vice President Joice Mujuru to oust President Mugabe.
The First Lady said Kaukonde was wearing a fake smile for the First Family when he was at the forefront of denigrating the President.
There has been simmering anger from Zanu-PF members in the province from the Women’s League, the Youth League, the main wing and war veterans against Kaukonde following revelations that he was supporting efforts to oust President Mugabe, and also embroiled in a sex for positions scandal in the province.