MASVINGO — Former Masvingo governor, Dzikamai Mavhaire, who has been lingering in the political wilderness after a fallout with President Robert Mugabe, has bounced back as Minister of Energy and Power Development.
Famed for his “Mugabe must go” mantra that saw him relegated to the political dustbins and reduced to a vendor in Masvingo where he was selling oranges at Mucheke Bus terminus with a ramshackle vehicle that often needed a push to start. The pint sized politician, linked to a faction loyal to Vice President Joice Mujuru, has sensationally made a come-back in Cabinet.
Mavhaire, once said President Mugabe should “go” and hand over power to new blood, but nobody supported his position.
For that, he was punished for several years and became a pale shadow of his former self.
He lived an ordinary life, anchored on farming at his farm a few kilometres outside Masvingo town.
Few thought he would bounce back, considering the gravity of his crime and President Mugabe’s nature. The incumbent is considered to be a ‘forgiver who hardly forgets’.
But sooner or later, Mavhaire, who is considered by many to be a shrewd politician, started picking up the bits and pieces.
In 2008, he contested for a senatorial post but was defeated by the party’s Maina Mandava in primary elections considered rigged in favour of the latter to eliminate Mavhaire.
But he did not tire.
He was later compensated with a politburo post — secretary for production and labour.
From there, he rode on the fame of his newly formed farmer organisation, the South East Growers Association (SEGA) to garner support and he became Mujuru’s blue eyed boy, organising rallies under the guise of SEGA prize giving and field days.
He also woke up one day to tell the world that he was the director of Bikita Minerals and became influential in the lucrative sugar growing Lowveld region of Chiredzi.
Despite having a fight over supremacy with his nemesis, Josiah Hungwe, also a politburo member and former governor over ZANU -PF, Mavhaire got the last laugh after secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, endorsed him and set the record straight telling party supporters that Mavhaire was more senior than Hungwe.
Hungwe, at his rallies in the run up to the 2013 polls, had claimed to be more senior than Mavhaire in the province.
Earlier this year, Mavhaire survived a serious accident along the Harare-Masvingo road when his car was sideswiped on his way from a politburo meeting in Harare.
He spent several months with a plaster but has since recovered.
But few never thought he would recover from his fallout with President Mugabe.
To the surprise of many, Mavhaire has had his second coming, after being given a Cabinet post.
Many, however, are questioning whether he will be able to live up to expectation, considering the challenges the energy sector faces.