HARARE – ZANU PF has been thrown into fresh turmoil as party officials aiming to represent the party in the forthcoming elections are engaged in a war of words.
The Daily News can report that battle lines have been drawn in the ruling party ahead of the polls with incumbent Members of Parliament and councillors facing competition from new faces that are promising to take a new trajectory in the running of their areas.
Former military personnel are also switching to politics in huge numbers, thus threatening the old order.
Not even politburo members can claim to be safe in their positions as the new comers are employing every trick in the book to represent Zanu PF in elections that could be held before July this year.
In the ensuing war of words, it is being alleged that the vanquished Generation 40 (G40) is re-emerging through various forms to regain its stranglehold on Zanu PF.
G40 retreated into the shells after the military stepped in to save President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Team Lacoste faction, which had been outclassed completely.
The military intervention put pressure on Mugabe to quit after 37 years of misrule to starve off an impeachment motion that had followed his recall from the leadership of the party and government.
In Mount Pleasant constituency, incumbent MP Jason Passade is alleging that the party has been infiltrated by G40 elements.
Passade wrote to Zanu PF national chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and Harare province chairperson Goodwills Masimirembwa, claiming he suffered physical assault with clenched fists from national youth member Christine Taruwona.
“…This disrespectfully happened in the full view of Zanu PF Harare provincial chairperson Goodwills Masimirembwa, who had to call her to order and was assisting in restraining her by provincial members who had assembled for a meeting to discuss the vulgar, hate speech and false allegations orchestrated against me by Taruwona, Charles Banga and their colleagues,” Pasade said in the letter.
According to Passade, his woes began when Banga labelled him a “brandaya” and thus not fit to represent Zanu PF.
Brandaya is a colloquial name given to people of Malawian origin.
“During the meeting for provincial members I also suffered verbal assault on my person from…Banga a former aide of Russel Goreraza (Grace Mugabe’s son), who labelled me a ‘brandaya’ and not worth representing the party…Banga has infiltrated the party sowing seeds of disunity after he was sneaked into the party by former political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere with the intention of dislodging my position as MP…Banga only sneaked into provincial structures after only a year in the party,” said Passade.
Banga could neither confirm nor deny that he once attacked Passade or if he was indeed aiming for the seat.
“I have no comment, the party has internal processes to deal with such issues,” he said.
Masimirembwa confirmed receiving Passade’s letter and that Banga and Taruwona were both members of Zanu PF.
The festering battles in Mount Pleasant mirror the wars raging in the rest of Harare Province and across the country.
Another war of words is festering in Harare South where war veteran’s spokesperson Douglas Mahiya is being challenged by one retired major Leonard Tagwirei.
Mahiya is also claiming that elements in the vanquished G40 are targeting Zanu PF seats, insinuating that Tagwirei was part of the G40 cabal. Tagwireyi has dismissed the allegations, claiming Mahiya was fearful of losing the battle for Harare South.
“The allegations are unfounded because I have support in this constituency since 2013 when I contested (Shadreck) Mashayamombe in the primary elections. He is not wanted by the people in the constituency so when he tries to address them, they resist and he blames me. He is also in the habit of addressing drunkards in beer halls and you can expect anything from someone who is drunk isn’t it,” said Tagwirei.
In Gokwe-Nembudziya, in the Midlands Province, Justice Wadyajena had to go on social media to shoo-away those who want to contest his seat.
There is pervasive fear that the G40 faction — whose kingpins were exiled following the smart coup of November 18, 2017 could sponsor candidates in the forthcoming elections.
The uneasiness has been worsened by growing tensions between the Team Lacoste faction and the military men who also want to secure tickets to represent Zanu PF at the polls.