BATTLELINES have been drawn in Gutu West constituency in Masvingo province where councillor Mutonho Rwodzi is said to be eyeing the seat currently occupied by John Paradza in 2023 elections.

Rwodzi is said to be a close ally of ousted Masvingo provincial chairperson, Ezra Chadzamira, while Paradza has been linked to Chadzamira’s successor, Robson Mavhenyengwa.

In the mix is also party national secretary for security, Lovemore Matuke, who has been touted as the provincial godfather and accused of fighting Rwodzi and his allies.

Information at hand suggests that Rwodzi recently convened a district meeting to distribute thousands of dollars’ worth of agricultural inputs, including day-old chicks, fertilizer and seed. At the meeting, which attracted a huge crowd, Rwodzi allegedly threw his name into the ring for Zanu PF primaries.

But on March 13, Rwodzi was suspended by the district headed by Joshat Sarukore for alleged misconduct.

Rwodzi was suspended alongside Admire Masiya of Gutu East, who is the Gutu district secretary of finance.

However, the Zanu PF commissar for Masvingo Brian Munyoro told Southern Eye that the matter had not yet been brought to his attention.

Sources close to Rwodzi claim that he was suspended for scheming to topple Paradza, but the district secretariat and provincial members — some of whom are accused of victimising Rwodzi have denied such a development.

“Rwodzi should have been fired a long time ago for abusing presidential inputs,” a close source to the matter said.

“He is one of us and we know that he can reform and serve the party well.”

Rwodzi yesterday told Southern Eye that he was busy and could not comment on the matter.

He said he would seek clarity on the issue from the party secretary for legal affairs Paul Mangwana.

Paradza said he was out of the country when the suspensions were announced. Matuke confirmed that there was a disciplinary matter against Rwodzi.

“Talk to district officials. This matter is at district level, but I can just say that I am not aware that he was suspended.  It was just a warning.

Only the national disciplinary committee has powers to suspend him in terms of our party constitution,” Matuke said.

Gutu DCC chairperson Josphat Sarukore refused to comment on the matter.

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