The politburo of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party on Thursday expelled Deputy Labor Minister Tracy Mutinhiri from the party and asked the president to remove her from her ministerial position as well. The politburo accused Mutinhiri of engaging in activities contrary to the former ruling party’s constitution.
The expulsion means Mutinhiri will also lose her seat in Parliament.
ZANU-PF's supreme decision-making body endorsed a decision taken by the disciplinary committee of the Mashonaland East provincial party branch where Mutinhiri is the member of parliament for Marondera East constituency, east of Harare.
ZANU-PF sources said Mutinhiri did not sign a party petition against Western sanctions and voted against the ZANU-PF candidate for speaker of Parliament, ZANU-PF Chairman Simon Khaya Moyo, who lost to Lovemore Moyo of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's.
Mutinhiri was also accused of being too close to Mr Tsvangirai's party, which co-governs the country with ZANU-PF and a smaller formation of the MDC.
ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that the decision to expel Mutinhri was unanimous because of her intransigence.
Mutinhiri in an interview accused State Security Minister Sydney Sekeramai of engineering her ouster because of a dispute between them over a farm. Sekeramai has refused to comment on the allegation.
Commenting, political analyst John Makumbe said the expulsion of Mutinhiri shows that ZANU-PF remains a party that is intolerant of dissenting views.