Bridget Mananavire 16 April 2017
HARARE – Zanu PF’s ugly tribal, factional and succession tussles boiled
over into deadly violence in Harare yesterday when party supporters from
opposing camps turned on each other and against police over embattled
national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.
The clashes occurred despite President Robert Mugabe’s reported calls for
all party structures to end the current push to fire the Local Government
minister and his brother Dickson Mafios, among other targeted officials.
Witnesses said the confrontations took place at the party’s provincial
offices in the capital, as a group that was planning a media conference to
press for Kasukuwere’s ouster ran into the under fire Zanu PF national
Party provincial commissar, Shadreck Mashayamombe, confirmed the clashes
to the Daily News on Sunday and fingered former youth leader Godwin Gomwe
in the violence.
“What I heard was that party youths got word that there were messages that
were circulating from Gomwe who was planning demonstrations, and the
youths decided to confront that group, since the president (Mugabe) has
said there should no longer be any demonstrations,” he said.
“I was told that Gomwe’s team arrived in kombis, but were blocked by the
youths who are the guardians of the party, as they wanted the president’s
message to be followed. I also heard that these people were also targeting
me. How can Gomwe plan demonstrations when he was expelled from the
party?” Mashayamombe said.
“These people are not only defying the president, they are also no longer
in the party. They are in effect targeting the president and are not happy
that we have endorsed him (Mugabe) to be our presidential candidate for
2018,” the Zanu PF member of parliament and Kasukuwere’s ally said.
But the rival group claimed violence had started when the boisterous Mount
Darwin South legislator’s supporters stormed the party’s Harare provincial
headquarters, and press conference venue “demanding to know the other
In the aftermath of the violence, stones and bricks littered the area
around the party’s provincial offices yesterday.
On the other hand, party spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said yesterday he
was “not aware of that (violent clashes) at all (as) nobody came to me
In the meantime, Mashayamombe’s claims that yesterday’s foiled
demonstration comprised “rented crowds from other districts or places” and
which resonates with Mafios’ statement that recent demonstrations against
him, and his equally embattled brother in Bindura had been staged by some
Zanu PF dissidents, if not elements expelled from the fractured party, and
linked to the ex-gamatox faction.
As Zanu PF’s succession wars continue to rage, Mashonaland Central
regional minister, Martin Dinha, revealed recently that he had received
death threats from his party enemies.
The alleged threats came days after the trained lawyer had publicly
endorsed Kasukuwere and Mafios’ expulsion.
“First they (his Zanu PF enemies) manufactured a statement purporting that
it was mine . . . and now they are sending threats to kill me on my
roaming lines,” Dinha said.
“A female and a male called me and said usada kufira mahara (don’t die for
nothing) using private numbers. They said `you have a family, be careful
what you say’,” he claimed further.
Although once linked to ousted former vice president and now leader of the
opposition National People’s Party (NPP), Joice Mujuru, Dinha is now said
to be very close to the first family – a development that his associates
claim has displeased some party bigwigs.
In 2015, the Mashonaland Central provincial affairs minister also received
an AK47 bullet and a threatening message telling him to step down or risk
suffering the same fatal fate that befell the late Zanu PF political
commissar, Elliot Manyika – who died in a suspicious car accident in 2008.
Well-placed Zanu PF sources told the Daily News on Sunday at the time that
“the parcel” with the bullet and threatening message was delivered to the
minister’s office just after midnight – forcing the
lawyer-turned-politician, a lightweight in Zanu PF, to go into hiding”.
Dinha has also previously survived several other attempts to oust him from
his ministerial post.
Worryingly for warring Zanu PF bigwigs, this was not the first time that a
minister had received death threats.
Last year, two Cabinet ministers had also received death threats as the
former liberation movement’s seemingly unstoppable ructions become more
First, Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane found a bullet in his hotel
room in Harare. The bullet had been placed on a headboard in the room.
Then Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao – who is Mugabe’s nephew –
also received death threats related to his public criticism of Vice
President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his supporters in the run-up to Zanu PF’s
annual conference which was held in Masvingo late last year.