via Zanu PF disbands divided Midlands Exec NewZimbabwe 27/01/2014
ZANU PF has been forced to disband its Midlands provincial executive barely three months after it was elected into office as the party struggles with deep divisions linked to internecine fights over President Robert Mugabe’s succession.
Provincial chair Jason Machaya’s victory last November over challenger and then deputy Larry Mavhima was bitterly disputed, leaving the party even more divided amid reports other members of the executive were refusing to work with the chairman.
Machaya is said to be in a camp backing Vice President Joice Mujuru to succeed Mugabe while Mavhima is believed to be a protégée of Mujuru’s main rival, Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Shamu wrote: “Following reports of disputes over the composition of the main wing, youth and women’s league executive committee office bearers you are hereby directed to repose all authority in the administration of the party in the Midlands province in the hands of the provincial chairman, Jason Machaya, chairperson of the women’s league, Ellina Shirichena and youth league chairperson, Edmore Samambwa.
“The above mentioned triumvirate will remain so until the Politburo meets to discuss the report on the Midlands elections and make its determination.”
Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo said Shamu acted following a petition by party members after tempers boiled over at a recent meeting of the executive with officials nearly coming to blows.
“A group of party members from the Midlands province met the commissariat over the outstanding issues on the provincial executive elections,” said Gumbo.
“The members came and expressed their concerns regarding the matter. The elections were not constitutional and some members did not abide by the party rules and regulations.
“There was lack of compliance among other members of the party. I also issued a statement on the Sunday meeting as the national spokesperson but some people failed to realise that I speak on behalf of the party at national level.”
Mnangagwa has long been considered the political godfather of the Midlands and would not, therefore, take kindly to the idea of a Mujuru ally chairing the provincial executive.
Politburo member and former Midlands governor, Cephas Msipa, recently admitted that factionalism was as serious problem in the Midlands.
“We have serious factionalism in the province with one group occupied with positioning themselves,” Msipa told the Bulawayo-based Southern Eye newspaper.
“They have had meetings to scheme the side-lining of Msipa, Rugare Gumbo, Francis Nhema and Flora Bhuka. Unfortunately for them, we have had people from the group coming to tell us about the sinister plot.”
“Such people are causing divisions in the province hence the reason why I walked out of the provincial coordinating committee meeting.”