via Bickering Zanu PF in key politburo indaba 30 September 2014
THE ruling Zanu PF party’s politburo will Wednesday sit for a vital meeting that could make-or-break some political careers as the factional fights in President Robert Mugabe’s party reach fever pitch.
While the meeting is seen as a regular monthly gathering, sources within the former guerrilla movement Tuesday claimed it could turn out to be a heated gathering given the events of the past few weeks.
“We have the Senate issue that relates to Gideon Gono’s nomination as Senator for Manicaland that has stalled, there is the Temba Mliswa issue because there is a group that wants him suspended after his disparaging comments on some leaders and even the President,” the source said.
Administration secretary Didymus Mutasa confirmed the gathering.
“It is a regular meeting of the politburo and the agenda is for internal purposes – you have no need to know it and you also do not expect me to tell you before it is known by the leadership,” said Mutasa.
Mugabe’s party, in power since independence from Britain 34 years ago, is in turmoil ahead of its elective congress pencilled for December amid vicious fights to succeed the 90-year-old leader who has been at the helm for the better part of four decades.
Mugabe has not given any hint that he is ready to leave but Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa lead the pack of those angling to take over.
The two’s lieutenants have been at each other’s throats as the turf war that at times has turned violent threatens to tear the former liberation movement apart.
Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo said Mliswa and Gono were likely to be discussed at Wednesday’s meeting.
“I have not seen the agenda of the meeting, but it is possible that those issues (Gono and Mliswa) will come out because they are in the public domain,” he said.
Mliswa this week claimed the party has been hijacked by “gay gangsters” in reference to Information Minister Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere who he accused of leading a smear campaign against him.
Gono’s issue has also divided the party, but the final straw came from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) that threw a damper on his quest to join the legislature.
ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau wrote to the ruling party last week indicating that it would be unconstitutional to appoint Gono to the Senate given the fact that he was not on the original list of candidates presented prior to the polls last July and also that there had been irregularities with the movement of his name from Harare to Buhera after the elections.
Mutasa has however, vowed to push for Gono’s appointment arguing “ZEC cannot insist on the list that was presented before the elections because we as the party decide who takes which position”.
The fight degenerated into a verbal war between Moyo and party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and now the politburo will have to decide on the next move.
While the party tears itself apart, the economy continues to plummet and Zanu PF seems at its wits’ end, amid threats by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to roll out mass demonstrations against the deepening crisis.
Tsvangirai’s threats have created a tense atmosphere in Harare with visible presence of police and other security details in or about the vicinity of his party headquarters in central Harare.