. . . Confusion reigns as Rugeje signs Chitepo certificates as national PC
Confusion continues to reign supreme in Zanu PF’s commissariat department as it is not clear who is the current National Political Commissar (PC) between Victor Matemadanda and Ltd Gen (Rtd) Engelbert Rugeje after the later signed the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology graduates’ certificates this week.
Rugeje’s signature on the certificates is underlined by the caption of ‘Political Commissar’.
Rugeje was officially relieved off duty as the national PC in 2019 and was replaced by Matemandada. Unconfirmed reports early this year also suggested that Matemadanda was fired from the position of PC and was awaiting reassignment as a diplomat in Mozambique. Matemadanda however, denied the allegations and insisted that he was still the Zanu PF national PC.
The new developments of Rugeje signing the Chitepo certificates as national PC might be a signal that he bounced back as the head of the commissariat department as Zanu PF is already preparing for 2023 elections.
When TellZim News contacted him for comment, Rugeje could neither confirm nor deny whether he was back at the helm of the commissariat, choosing to refer all the questions to Munyaradzi Machacha who is the principal of Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology.
“That can be best explained by the principal of Chitepo School of Ideology (Machacha). I have no further comment in that regard,” said Rugeje.
The certificates bear the signatures of Munyaradzi Machacha, in his capacity as Chitepo School of Ideology principal, and Rugeje as national political commissar.
When contacted for comment, a jittery Machacha told TellZim News that the stationery was printed long back when Rugeje was still the national political commissar.
“The material was printed when Rugeje was still the national political commissar and we are just using them as they are. This does not mean he is the political commissar,” said Machacha.
Machacha’s claims exposed a flawed system where a national PC could sign blank certificates instead of signing only for those who would have successfully completed the training.
It is also interesting that the names of the participants were later printed on the certificates which means Rugeje’s name and signature could have been easily edited out if it was not supposed to be there.
Rugeje has been out in the cold since his departure in June 2019 and this might be a sign that he has bounced back on the hot seat as Zanu PF is readying itself for 2023 harmonised elections.
Some of the people who have since received their certificates told TellZim News in confidence that they did not understand why Rugeje signed the certificates as the national political commissar.
“We were surprised like everyone else. A lot of people have been asking questions from the background but we can’t question authority.
“It is not clear whether Matamadanda is no longer our national PC or not so this development might be a signal that Rugeje has been reinstated as PC. This is one of the developments in our party which has remained shrouded in mystery.
“We just wait to hear the official party position on the commissariat department,” said one recipient of the Chitepo School of Ideology certificate.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa seems to be playing his lieutenants one against the other since the shock removal of Rugeje back in 2019 and his replacement with Matemadanda.
However, Matemadanda’s own sudden removal remains a matter of gossip, with no clear communication from the party.
The Chitepo School of Ideology is embarking on a massive drive to orient their recently constituted District Coordinating Committee (DCC) structures, government employees and chiefs among others ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections.