By Byron Mutingwende
The ZANU (PF) Chairwoman for Harare Province, Ratidzo Mukarati is behaving like a demi-god and should be stopped in her tracks because she is a Grace Mugabe re-incarnate, Betty Nhambu Kaseke, the Member of the House of Assembly for Kuwadzana has said.
MP Kaseke equated Mukarati to former First Lady Grace Mugabe (whose ambition to take over from her husband Robert through attacking her rivals in public was the main reason the military embarked on “Operation Restore Legacy” in November 2017) following their public altercation at the ZANU (PF) Coordinating meeting held to discuss the issue of primary elections on 12 May 2018.
“We had a coordinating meeting for Harare Province that was chaired by provincial chairman Cde Goodwills Masimirembwa on 12 May 2018. At the meeting there were members of the Central Committee, provincial executives, war veterans and the winning and losing candidates in the primary elections. Despite such a huge representation, Ratidzo Mukarati, the ZANU (PF) Harare Province Chairwoman stood up and shouted obscenities at me in typical Grace Mugabe fashion. I answered back because this is not the first time that she has attacked me in public on personal matters to do with my family and my husband Mr. Karikoga Kaseke,” Betty Nhambu-Kaseke said.
Top on the agenda at the ZANU PF meeting was the primary election re-runs for Harare Province in constituencies like Harare South, Kambuzuma and Kuwadzana among others.
In all the 29 constituencies in Harare, Honourable Nhambu-Kaseke is the only female candidate who won in primary elections for the House of Assembly post on a ZANU (PF) ticket. In line with President Mnangagwa’s call for free and fair elections, Cde Masimirembwa encouraged members to participate in the election re-runs to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner devoid of violence and intimidation.
“Mukarati is an uncouth, disrespectful politician who needs leadership orientation. At one time she even scolded chairman Masimirembwa in public. She forgets that my husband is a war veteran, retired soldier and a strong party cadre who guides me on ZANU (PF) ideology and it is grossly unfair to attack me and him in public.
“As a fellow woman, she should motivate and encourage me to work for the party and campaign for ZANU (PF)’s resounding victory come elections but alas she is jealousy and working on dividing the party instead of uniting members. This is the problem with leaders who impose themselves. What has Mukarati done to be in that position? If President Mnangagwa does not throw away such bad apples from the party, ZANU (PF) will lose elections in the urban constituencies,” Honourable Nhambu-Kaseke said.
Mukarati accused Nhambu-Kaseke of influencing the deployment of coordinators in the ZANU (PF) primary run-off elections, a charge the MP vehemently denies.
“I am the sitting MP and I have already won the primary elections? Instead of propagating such hate speech, we should be uniting the winners and the losers to fight the common rival, that is the MDC, which controls most urban constituencies,” Nhambu-Kaseke added.
Efforts to get a comment from Mukarati were futile but the leaders of the ZANU (PF) women and youth leagues who spoke to Spiked Online Media on condition of anonymity said there was a need to write formal letters of complaints to President Mnangagwa calling for the dismissal of the Chairwoman from the party so as to have a united front against the main opposition party led by Advocate Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance.
One of the ZANU (PF) youth leaders said if Mukarati was genuine in her support of President Mnangagwa, her actions should translate into promoting peace and unity in the party.
Honourable Nhambu-Kaseke reiterated that if she had indeed done anything wrong, Mukarati should follow the ZANU (PF) protocol and bring evidence of wrongdoing before the structures instead of washing her dirty linen in public instead of taking matters into her own hands to the detriment of the party.