Zimbabweans reacted with shock following the car crash that claimed the life of respected Guruve South MP and former minister of mines, Edward Chindori-Chininga.
Reporting/ Multimedia compilation by Tapiwa Zivira/ Cecilia Kamuputa/ Cynthia R Matonhodze/ Tinotenda Samukange
Within hours of the announcement of his death Wednesday night, social media and other forums were abuzz with thousands expressing emotions varying from grief, devastation to anger.
Chindori-Chininga’s Facebook wall was immediately overwhelmed by condolence messages and those on twitter were posting their condolences.
What seemed to have been more shocking about Chindori-Chininga’s death was that last year in March, he survived a serious accident in Mazowe and a year later, he dies from a another car crash.
Despite being a Zanu PF official, Chindori-Chininga appeared to have made friends in various political and social circles.
Senior officials from other political parties including those from Zanu PF’s arch-rival, the MDC-T, hailed Chindori-Chininga as someone who was candid in the handling of his work, including the Mines and Energy Parliamentary Portfolio Committee that he was chairing at the time of his death.
But perhaps it was his open-mindedness and sense of co-operation that led to the love-hate relationship between him and fellow Zanu Pf officials.
He recently courted controversy after the production of a damning report that highlighted gross transparency and accountability irregularities in the mining of the Marange Diamonds.
Zanu PF has maintained a stranglehold on the diamond mining activities in Marange and there are allegations that revenue collection from diamond sales is being manipulated to the benefit of Zanu PF.
Mostly Chinese companies affiliated to Zanu PF are operating in Marange amid allegations they are flagrantly flouting the country’s labour, economic and investment laws.
“Since the inception of formalized mining in Chiadzwa, the Committee observed that the sector has been dogged with issues of transparency and accountability in the production, marketing, fiscal contributions and general administration,” read part of the report.
Chindori-Chininga was not new to political storms as in 2011, he was reportedly involved in a near fist fight with the Zanu PF co-chairperson of the then Copac, Paul Mangwana.
Zanu PF accused Chindori-Chininga of abusing his two roles, one as a member of Zanu PF’s select committee and the other as chairman of the Copac stakeholders committee.
“Yes, I lost my temper, but Mangwana has been pushing me too hard against the wall…I told him,…ndinokurova! …“It took Minister (Olivia) Muchena and others to restrain us. He (Mangwana) has not only clashed with me from the Zanu-PF side of Copac,” Chindori-Chininga was quoted as saying.
Zanu PF alleged that Chindori-Chininga was leaking ‘confidential’ party positions and information about the constitution-making process to rival parties.
This was after a Zanu PF’s preliminary draft constitution framework leaked to MDC-T and subsequently the media before Zanu PF could present it at Copac.
He was suspended and later sacked from the constitution making board on the leaking allegations.
Zanu PF Secretary for Administration, Didymus Mutasa was not apologetic and claimed Chindori-Chininga’s sacking was ‘a lesson’ to other ‘undisciplined’ Zanu PF officials.
But Chindori-Chininga was seemingly not deterred as he continued to ‘warn’ Zanu PF of bungling in the constitution making process.
Immediately after his ouster from Copac, there was a reported plot to ouster him from Zanu PF.
The Zimbabwe Independent reported that a petition crafted by youth leaders from Guruve, including Zanu PF national youth treasurer Obert Mutasa, started circulating ‘soon after Chindori-Chininga was fired from the Copac.
Obert Mutasa was reportedly eyeing Chindori-Chininga’s constituency in future elections.
The party’s Mashonaland Central chairperson Dickson Mafios allegedly thwarted the attempts to expel Chindori-Chininga.
Other allegations levelled against Chindori-Chininga by his party include de-campaigning President Robert Mugabe and supporting Mavambo Kusile Dawn leader Simba Makoni in the 2008 harmonised elections.
He was also alleged to have voted for MDC-T chairman Lovemore Moyo for the Speaker’s post in the House of Assembly.
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