ED and VP Chiwenga’s names dropped as fresh disorder rocks Zanu PF
THE ruling Zanu PF party has been rocked by serious infighting ahead of provincial congresses, with clashes being reported in Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central, Midlands and other provinces.
It emerged that the names of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga were being dropped to cow rivals while promoting their horses, a situation that has also exposed deep-rooted factionalism in the party.
The fights are said to be serious enough that in Mashonaland West province the party acting national commissar Patrick Chinamasa read the riot act to curb a potentially explosive situation.
Chinamasa’s intervention was forced by fights over the alleged imposition of Abia Mujere by former provincial chairman Ziyambi Ziyambi, who was recently appointed to the politburo.
This has triggered objections from a camp said to be linked to Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka.
“The communication is to inform you that Cde Abia Mujere is, and remains the appropriate acting chairman for Mashonaland West province pending the conduct of provincial elections scheduled to take place countrywide at a date to be announced in due course,” Chinamasa said.
“This clarification should put to rest the dispute with some party members over this matter. The province is advised that no co-options for any vacant posts should be made without authorisation from the acting secretary for the commissariat.”
The letter was copied to the party chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and secretary for administration, Obert Mpofu.
There have been fights in Mashonaland Central province where provincial chairman Kazembe Kazembe is reportedly blocking individuals who are preparing to challenge him in the polls.
There have been reports that Kazembe has been growing increasingly unpopular with party structures in the province and that he is using intimidatory tactics to hold on to the post of chairperson.
Insiders alleged that some of Kazembe’s tactics included waging in a smear campaign against his rival, Walter Makamba claiming that Mnangagwa did not like the businessman because he was alleged to be a G40 supporter.
Businessman Tafadzwa Musarara is also said to be interested in the party provincial chairmanship.
Kazembe, however, dismissed the allegations, saying no individual within the party had the power to block anyone from contesting in an election.
“What happened in the provincial co-ordinating committee is not unique (clashes). A lot happens in politics and everywhere. People gossip, drop names, assassinate each other’s characters, and do all sorts of things every day and everywhere,” he told NewsDay yesterday.
“We don’t condone such behaviour. I have also been a target of these dirty tricks where people create fake stories about me. Everyday you hear of people plotting to remove the chairman but I’m not moved. That comes with the terrain. I am focusing on working for the party and the people.”
In the Midlands, sources said there were serious fights over who should lead the province.
This comes amid reports that the demons of factionalism that gutted the ruling party during the late former president Robert Mugabe’s last few years in power had returned to the ranks of the ex-liberation movement with a vengeance.
It also comes as the highly divisive DCCs are now at the centre of the fresh commotion in the party.
The DCCs — which were scrapped in 2012 at the height of Zanu PF’s factional, tribal and succession wars, in the twilight of the late Mugabe’s rule — stand accused of usurping the powers of other organs of the ruling party.