ZANU PF’s Mashonaland East province has now roped in the support of party members in Ray Kaukonde’s Marondera central constituency in a bid to force the underfire businessman out of Parliament.
Kaukonde’s political fortunes nosedived after he was accused of bankrolling an alleged coup plot by former vice president Joice Mujuru who was also fired from government over the still unproven charges.
The businessman was also removed as Zanu PF chairman for Mashonaland East with the anti-Mujuru faction in the ruling party now scrambling for ways to force him out of Parliament.
The fallout has affected a key sewer project which was expected to address the problem of burst sewer pipes that have left the lives of thousands of residents at risk.
Kaukonde was financing the project but it has now stalled after senior Marondera council officials were allegedly threatened with unspecified consequences if they are seen holding meetings with him.
The local Zanu PF leadership has tried, without success, several manoeuvres to force Kaukonde out of Parliament.
Now they want to get constituents in the area to push for his ouster by claiming that he has neglected the area.
“Several members from his constituency have come to us to say that they want him recalled from Parliament. Chief among their concerns is that he has virtually neglected the constituency and is hardly seen,” said Chigwedere.
“As acting chairperson, I can only accede to the people’s will so we will have to look at all procedures that need to be undertaken and proceed with that move,” he said adding that the Zanu PF provincial leadership would soon meet to discuss the concerns of the Marondera Central constituents.
Chigwedere said the constituents would use Section 129 of the Constitution which says that an MP’s seat becomes vacant if the member has ceased to belong to the political party they members of when elected to Parliament.
His problems started at the end of last year when First Lady Grace Mugabe accused him of being at the forefront of campaigning for Mujuru to unconstitutional topple President Robert Mugabe.
He was subsequently removed as the provincial chairperson for Mashonaland East as war veterans and other Zanu PF supporters staged demonstrations accusing him of illegally protecting white commercial farmers in the province.
Grace Mugabe and the state media have also accused Kaukonde of using a forged “O” Level certificate to apply for a place at a teachers’ training college.
Zanu PF is reportedly planning to replace him with either University of Zimbabwe lecturer Charity Manyeruke or the owner of UMAA Institute, Cleopas Kundiona.