A report by The Independent claims that the arrest of former Vice President Phelekezela Mpoko is a result of renewed factional fights within the ruling ZANU PF party.
Mphoko is reported to be working with some senior Zanu PF officials linked to ailing Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga and remnants of the ruling party’s Generation 40 (G40) faction.
The faction intends to challenge President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s legitimacy through the courts.
Mphoko is allegedly being hounded over his former shareholding in supermarket chain Choppies which stands accused of funding the ZANU PF faction.
The report further claims that Mphoko and his allies are planning to challenge how President Mnangagwa rose to the highest office in the land, saying that it was unprocedural
Further, former President Robert Mugabe’s resignation letter reportedly disappeared. A senior official in the Parliament of Zimbabwe, assistant clerk Johannes Gandiwa, who was entrusted with the custody of letter was dismissed from work for gross negligence according to the report.
The Independent report reads in part:
Security sources say Mphoko was going to argue that Mnangagwa was not vice-president when Mugabe was removed and therefore he could not immediately come in from outside as required by the constitution and law, even though Zanu PF later held a meeting to reinstate him and then install him as president.
The sources say Mphoko was going to contest the constitutionality and procedure of that process on those grounds.
The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) issue was used as the basis for Mphoko’s arrest is a way to get him. The Independent’s source is quoted as saying:
After information was obtained showing that Mphoko could launch the court challenge, a decision was made to get him so that he doesn’t become a new headache and a rallying point.
An easy way of getting rid of him was to arrest him for storming Avondale Police Station to free former Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) acting chief executive Moses Juma and non-executive director Davison Norupiri who were arrested in 2016 on allegations of defrauding the authority of US$1,3 million.