A Zanu PF legislator was on Saturday arrested in the resort town of Victoria Falls after taking a jibe at First Lady Grace Mugabe, in what many believe is part of the ruling party’s succession war.
Gokwe-Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena was arrested on Saturday at the end of the Zanu PF conference which was taking place in that town.
He appeared in court Monday charged with criminal insult.
Allegations are that Wadyajena ‑ said to be an ally of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa ‑ passed an “unpleasant” remark about Grace Mugabe as he was apparently insulting a fellow party member, Jimayi Muduvuri.
Mnangagwa is widely believed to be leading a faction angling to succeed President Robert Mugabe.
On the other hand, Muduvuri is said to be sympathetic to the other faction called Generation-40, or G40, with Grace Mugabe said to be fronting it, and believed to be positioning itself to take over power.
The incident is said to have occurred as Muduvuri was driving towards Elephant Hills Hotel, when Wadyajena allegedly shouted: “Iwe Jimayi, uri mboko. Unongoti munhu wese kuna mhamha sei (You Jimayi, you are a fool. Why do you say everyone should support mother [in reference to Grace])?”
Grace is widely referred to as the mother of Zimbabwe.
This was after Wadyajena had seen the words “Munhu wese kuna mhamha” inscribed on Muduvuri’s Mercedes-Benz ML320 car.
The legislator is said to have further shouted unprintable words.
Wadyajena appeared in court on Monday and was granted US$800 bail, along with stringent conditions like reporting to the police once a week, surrendering his travel documents to the clerk of court, residing at his given address and not interfering with State witnesses.
He was not asked to plead. But he denies the charge and his trial will commence on January 5.
Most Zanu PF members have plastered images of Grace’s portraits on their cars.
The bad blood between Wadyajena and Muduvuri is said to have started when the latter had wanted to take over the Gokwe-Nembudziya seat in Parliament, which is currently held by Wadyajena. Muduvuri had failed to make it through in the 2008 and 2013 elections.
– African News Agency (ANA)