|Born||March 21, 1968|
|Died||January 31, 2021(aged 52)|
|Known for||Being a ZANU-PF Member|
Tendai Savanhu was Zimbabwean politician who was a member of the ZANU-PF party before his expulsion in 2015. He was readmitted back to the party but expelled again on 19 August 2020 after being accused of holding material that was meant to remove Emmerson Mnangagwa from office on the 31 July 2020 planned protest.
Tendai Savanhu was born 21 March 1968.
Business Interests and Career
The political career of Savanhu took many twists in which he lost several times when he contested under a ZANU-PF ticket in Mbare but he eventually won the seat in the 2013 harmonised elections. He also served as the deputy minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement. After having being part of the ZANU-PF establishment for quite some time in the Harare Metropolitan Province was said to have been one of the members of the party fanning factionalism. He was also said to have been aligned to ousted ex-vice president Joice Mujuru led faction. The fate of Savanhu was sealed through a demonstration by ZANU PF supporters and a vote of no confidence. The demo by the ZANU PF supporters also blocked the trio of Savanhu, Boniface Banda and Charles Karoro from submitting their for central committee positions. The trio was facing similar accusations of fanning factionalism and divisions in the party and province. Prior to events preceding the 6th ZANU PF conference in late 2014, there had been several reports in the media linking Tendai Savanhu to a faction alleged to have been led by ex-vice president Mujuru. Following the demonstration by party supporters and the party supporters and the passing of a vote of no confidence, Savanhu effectively lost his positions in the central committee and the politburo making him an ordinary ZANU PF member save for his parliamentary seat.
Career as Deputy Minister of Lands and Resettlement
Savanhu made the headlines several times as the aforementioned deputy minister. In 2013, Savanhu declared no houses would be demolished under the watch of ZANU PF arguing that the party was development-oriented and was for the welfare of the masses. He also argued that if ZANU PF legislators were too reluctant they would lose support from the electorate to the opposition parties.
Deputy minister Savanhu also made key announcements one of them being at the Economic Forum held in Harare in 2013 meant to solve the problem with 99-year leases. He highlighted that
The ministry is currently reviewing the current 99-year leases following concerns raised by banks and financial institutions pointing to the observations that a farmer cannot borrow funds against the lease. Discussions and wide-ranging consultations were done with the bankers association of Zimbabwe
. Savanhu went on to point out that
It should not be acceptable to allow an overnight change of land ownership, with a few individuals with financial muscle buying the farms, replacing farmers who default. We risk resuscitating the scourge of multiple farm ownership
After having been dismissed from his post at Hwange Colliery Company, Savanhu was allegedly clinging on to the vehicle given to him by the company despite efforts by the company to repossess the vehicle. Savanhu was also said to be hanging on to the vehicle regardless of a high court order which directed him to surrender the vehicle to Hwange Colliery Company. Savanhu was also fingered in a scandal which involved former ZANU-PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman and Hurungwe West legislator Temba Mliswa where they were said to have tried to force businessman Mr Muller Conrad “Billy” Rautenbach to pay him at least US$165 million as “consultancy” fees in shady demands. There were also newspaper reports which carried a story in which it was alleged that Tendai Savanhu had been involved in a scuffle with fellow ZANU PF member Jonathan Moyo while waiting for the arrival of president Robert Mugabe at the Harare International Airport. It was reported that the two were onto each other before Saviour Kasukuwere intervened and calmed the situation. However, the Mbare legislator played down the allegations and pointed out that it was just a gentleman's talk after which they actually shook hands.
 Savanhu was quoted as having said
It’s not true that we nearly fought. How could that happen at such a high security zone and in the presence of President Mugabe? People are simply blowing issues out of proportion.
Jonathan Moyo who was also the other alleged participant in the scuffle with Savanhu was not reachable for a comment on the matter. The Deputy minister was also alleged to have been embroiled in a scam at Hwange Colliery in connivance with one Fred Moyo. It was alleged that the two were part of a scma in which Hwange Colliery Company and its subsidiary Hwange Coal Gasification Company (HCGC) lost close to US$200 million through “massive externalisation of funds and fraud” between January 2009 and May 2013. A forensic audit report by Welsa International Chartered Accountants showed massive siphoning and salting away of funds from HCGC to the Bank of China without board approvals. The forensic audit report indicates the two deputy ministers benefitted from transactions in which they apparently received large amounts of money long after they ceased to be board members of Hwange Colliery and HCGC.
Dismissal from Party and Cabinet
During the election of politburo members for Harare province, Savanhu was one of the former politburo members who suffered heavy defeats. His bid to enter in to the party's politburo failed when youth from the province demonstrated against him on allegations of fanning factionalism and plotting to remove Grace Mugabe from her position as the secretary general of the ZANU PF women's league. Thus Tendai Savanhu, together with the ousted former party chairperson Amos Midzi were accused of plotting to unseat Robert Mugabe from power together with vice president Joice Mujuru. Towards the much publicised ZANU PF national Congress held in 2014, Savanhu was accused of organising some violent youths to insult those who had helped in organising the so called "Meet the People" rallies done by the first lady in the country's provinces. He was dismissed from cabinet on December 21, 2014.
He was expelled from the party on 19 August 2020 on allegations of holding material meant for 31 July 2020 protests against the economic meltdown meant to put pressure on the president to resign.
Expulsion from the ZANU-PF Party
Savanhu died after he had reportedly tested positive for Covid-19.
His relative Saviour Kasukuwere confirmed his death on social media platform Twitter but did not say anything regarding the cause of death.
- Tendai Savanhu, WhoseWho, Retrieved: December 15, 2014
- Zanu PF supporters stage demo against Savanhu, The Herald, Published: November 22, 2014, Retrieved: December 15, 2014
- Moyo, Savanhu in near blows, NewsDzeZimbabwe, Published: September 8, 2014, Retrieved: December 16, 2016
- Patrice Makova, Jostling for Cabinet posts commences, Published: August 4, 2013, Retrieved: December 15, 2014
- Sarudzai Mupangi, No house demolitions, says Savanhu, The Herald, Published: November 13, 2013, Retrieved: December 16, 2014
- Govt to amend 99-year leases as banks seek more guarantees before lending
- Savanhu clings on to Hwange Colliery vehicle, The Standard, Published: July 4, 2014, Retrieved: December 15, 2014
- Takunda Maodza, Temba Mliswa in US$165m scandal- Demanded ‘facilitation’ fees -Mutasa, Savanhu, Nyabadza sucked in, Team Zimbabwe, Retrieved: December 15, 2014
- Jonathan Moyo, Tendai Savanhu in near blows at airport, NewsDay, Published: September 8, 2014, Retrieved: December 16, 2014
- Elias Mlambo, Zanu PF chefs embroiled in Hwange Coal $200m scam, The Independent, Published: March 28, 2014, Retrieved: December 16, 2014
- , President Mugabe fires 7 more ministers, 15 cabinet ministers dismissed within 2 weeks,myzimbabwe, published:21 Dec 2014,retrieved:22 Dec 2014"